Wedding Crasher Thefts Leave Newlyweds Broken Hearted

A trio of Minnesota newlyweds had their special day ruined in recent weeks by a wedding crasher who apparently posed as a guest and left with gift boxes stuffed with checks and gift cards, police and families told ABC News.

Although there has not been an arrest, police are looking for a possible suspect caught on surveillance videos.


Jillian Goembel, who married her husband Jesse on July 6 in Brooklyn Park, Minn., said nothing seemed suspicious and she and Jesse were unaware anything had been stolen until after their weddings when relatives and friends told them they could not find the cards containing their presents.

The initially assumed a friend had taken the gift box for safekeeping, but as they rehashed the night with their family and friends, they realized the box of gifts was gone.

Her husbands' coworkers recalled speaking to a couple they didn't know, and that couple matched the description of the man who others saw carrying the box of gifts. The couple left for their honeymoon on July 8, but have been working with a detective from the Brooklyn Park Police to track down the suspect.


Two weeks later, on July 20, Cassandra Hams and Jeremy Shannon held their wedding reception in nearby Ham Lake. Hams' mother, Thespo Hams, told ABC News she had made a concerted effort to make Cassandra's wedding special because her older daughter's wedding came right after the death of her husband and mother-in-law and she did not have any music.

But at around 8:40 the night of the wedding, she noticed the gift box was missing.

"I got sick to my stomach," she said. "The whole night was a disaster."

She filed a police report that night and is working with the Anoka County Sheriff's Office to track down the suspect.

Commander Paul Sommer of the Anoka County Sheriff's Office told ABC News that the suspect was dressed in wedding attire at this event as well.

Cassandra and her husband were in the Caribbean for their honeymoon and could not be reached for comment. But Hams said her daughter was shaking and crying when she found out.

Officials are not certain that the suspect in the Goelemb wedding is the same one as the Hams/Shannon wedding , but Sommer, who is working with the Brooklyn Park Police Department, noted they look very similar on surveillance tapes.

Sommer also said that the Hams/Shannon wedding gift box contained Target gift cards, and he has video of someone using gift cards at a Target that may match the description of the suspect.

KSTP reported that a third theft took place this past weekend,when the gift box was stolen from the wedding of Laura and Alex Dick. KSTP did not say where the event took place.

"We're trying to remember the better parts of the day, but it's a black cloud hanging over it," said Goembel. "It's the front memory for us and we want to put closure on it and remember how perfect it was until that point."