Thursday, December 17, 2015

Social Media WIN! Serial Wedding Crasher / "Bridal Bandit" Burglar is Caught after a Bride Uses Facebook to Locate Property which was Stolen during Wedding ~ Call Michael A. Haber, Esq. @ 1-888-SHARK-8-1

I love the movie "Wedding Crashers".  

Stephanie Burns, a/k/a "Denise" and "Lisa" and "the Bridal Bandit" (who's mug shot is pictured below) took the movie to a whole new level, having been arrested in Las Vegas for sneaking into various bridal party's rooms to take wallets, cellphones and even wedding gifts.

Stephanie was caught after crashing Michelle Tietz's wedding (that's Michelle and Chris pictured below)...

Michelle did not notice that anything was wrong until she returned to her bridal suite after her beautiful ceremony at the Pala Mesa Resort in Fallbrook, California, to find her wallet gone.  Michelle saw that her credit cards were quickly put to use and that some $1,400.00 was charged at a gas station and a variety of stores such as Target and CVS.  Michelle cancelled her cards and called cops, reporting the incident, but it wasn't until after Michelle's Facebook status (wherein she called for anyone who recognized the then unnamed thief to call the police) had been shared more than 2,000 times that the 50 year old Bridal Bandit, who, as it turns out had already been wanted in connection with at least four (4) other wedding thefts across California, was apprehended in Las Vegas on unrelated charges but also relative to the theft of a wallet from inside of a church.

A spokesman from the Office of Public Information for Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said that police immediately became suspicious after Stephanie Burns identified herself as "Lisa", together with a fake birthday, and she was taken into custody for giving false information to the police.  This incident led to a tip that "Lisa" was the 'bridal bandit', and Las Vegas Police Officers quickly discovered both her true identity and that she was the subject of a $100,000.00 arrest warrant from San Diego County where she was wanted for wedding related theft, identity theft and burglary charges.

As Michelle continued to post about the incident on Facebook (she thanked police and "social media and because of the community and media such as yourself, we have caught a thief!") her story directly prompted another suspected victim of the serial wedding thief to come forward.  Yvette Lynch, the catering director at Santee's Carlton Oaks Golf Course, in San Diego, California, had her wallet stolen out of her purse which she had left in her office during a wedding in July, 2015.  Yvette believes that Stephanie had been hoping to target the bridal party but when she found the suites locked, she targeted an unlocked office door.  Per Yvette:  "I think initially the target for this event was the wedding, but we keep the bridal quarters secure.  She was caught on every employee area on the property and couldn't access the bride. I had just stepped out of my office when she found the open door."

Detectives also believe that Stephanie was behind a theft at Churon Winery in Temecula, California, in September,2015 and in Coronado in October, 2015 as Stephanie was caught on camera attending the wedding at Coronado Golf Course, California, where she stole cards, checks and a large quantity of cash which had been gifted towards the cost of the wedding from the devastated bride and bridesmaids.  Per a guest named Kimberly Silber:  "They had left their purses in a dressing room when the the bride's wallet, cash, and other valuables from three bridesmaids were stolen.  I had this weird feeling in my gut that it was stolen but I was hoping that it wasn't because it was her wedding."  Police have surveillance photos that show Stephanie at a nearby Target store in the College Grove area where she tried to use the stolen credit cards as the wedding continued.

Just like Vince and Owen in "Wedding Crashers" detectives believe that Stephanie was not working alone and have released images (one of them appears below) of a possible female accomplice in the thefts.

Stephanie reportedly has a long history of petty theft dating back to 1998 and also has convictions for drug possession, false impersonation, burglary and receiving stolen property across several California counties.  In 2006 she was sentenced to three (3) years in prison for receiving stolen property, in 2009 she was accused of stealing a teacher's purse at a Wildomar, CA school and then using the credit cards at a casino and in 2012 she was convicted for stealing a purse at another CA school. Memo to Stephanie Burns, a/k/a "Denise" and "Lisa" and "the Bridal Bandit":

Memo to the Folks:  Social media can work for you or it can work against you. Watch Haber PA's YouTube Webisode on Social Media and the law by clicking below...

Social Media:  It's all fun and nice until it's introduced into evidence against you in Court. 

See "Haber's Rules of Social Media # 1 - 5" by clicking here...

At Michael A. Haber, P.A. "Its all about reasonable doubt"!

Michael A. Haber, Esq. is prepared to speak with you about your case!

Cell: 305-798-2220; Office: 305-381-8686; Toll Free: 1-888-SHARK-8-1


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