Suspected William Penn Inn wedding crasher thief in custody

July 12, 2013 3:58:00 PM PDT
Authorities say the man suspected of stealing thousands of dollars in gifts from a Montgomery County wedding turned himself in to police Friday morning.

35-year-old Joseph Patrick Franzone, Jr. surrendered to the District Justice in Skippack Township at 11:30 a.m.

An arrest warrant was issued for Franzone on Thursday in relation to an incident that happened on Sunday at the William Penn Inn in Lower Gwynedd, Pennsylvania.

"We were moving all the gifts from the gift table into the bride and groom's car," said Jillian Bowie, the groom's sister.

The reception was over. By all accounts, it had been a lovely time at the historic William Penn Inn. Bowie was one of two people moving the gifts to the groom's car.

Among the gifts was a small box shaped like a wedding cake. Bowie calls it a birdcage.

"I brought the birdcage out that contained the checks and the cash and put it in the car - put it in the back seat - and closed the door, walked back into the venue to get more gifts. Within a minute ... it was stolen," she said.

The estimated value of the stolen gifts was between $3,000 and $5,000.

Review of surveillance video at the Inn showed a man casing the reception area and parking lot. Police released still photographs from the video to local media, prompting a number of tips which led investigators to Franzone.

Investigators learned Franzone had borrowed his girlfriend's car on Sunday. When officers searched the vehicle they found an envelope from two of the wedding guests.

Franzone is charged with theft and related offenses. Bail is set at $150,000 cash.


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