Suspected Montgomery County Wedding Card Thief Surrenders To Police
By Syma Chowdhry, Steve Beck
LOWER GWYNEDD TOWNSHIP, Pa. (CBS) — A suspect accused of stealing cards worth thousands of dollars from a wedding in Montgomery County surrendered to police Friday.
Joseph Patrick Franzone, Jr., 35, turned himself into a District Justice in Lower Gwynedd Township Friday morning.
When asked by reporters as he walked into the District Justice building Friday if he had anything to say, Franzone Jr. said “I’m sorry.”
Franzone Jr. is facing charges of theft and related offenses after allegedly stealing thousands of dollars during a wedding reception at the William Penn Inn on July 7th. (See Related Story)
The groom’s sister was loading her car with a box containing envelopes filled with cash, checks and gift cards from guests. She went to retrieve more gifts, and when she got back to the car, the envelopes were gone.
Police say surveillance video showed a man, identified by police as Franzone Jr., lurking in the parking lot lobby and even inside the reception.
Investigators say after images from the video were provided, officials received numerous tips and learned that Franzone Jr. borrowed his girlfriend’s car that Sunday.
Authorities confirm that during a search of the vehicle, an envelope from two of the wedding guests was found and a warrant was then issued for his arrest.
Assistant District Attorney Lindsay O’Brien says Franzone Jr. has a long history of crime.
“He does have several burglary convictions, theft convictions and drug delivery.”
Franzone Jr. is now facing three charges that include theft.
The District Attorney’s request to set bail at $150,000 cash was granted.
“He needs to be locked up to refrain from further criminal activity at this point,” O’Brien said.
Franzone Jr.’s attorney, Matthew Kline, says his client has a drug problem and needs help.
“He needs addiction counseling. I don’t think Joe needs a jail cell.”
His preliminary hearing has been set for next Friday.
It is estimated that the value of the stolen gifts was between $3,000 and $5,000.