Alleged Wedding Thief Turns Himself In To Face Charges - FOX 13 News

Alleged Wedding Thief Turns Himself In To Face Charges

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LOWER GWYNEDD, Pa. -
Thirty five year old accused wedding thief Joseph Franzone shielded his face and muttered "sorry" on his way to court Friday. He now stands charged with stealing thousands of dollars in wedding gifts from a bride and groom last Sunday after their wedding at the William Penn Inn in Lower Gwynedd Township.

"Ecstatic. Very excited that the thief has been caught and is in jail," said Inn owner Peter Friedrich after Franzone's court appearance.

Franzone was nabbed when 19 different tipsters phoned police after the Inn's surveillance video was plastered all over local TV. Police say he cased out a wedding and when gift cards containing cash and checks were loaded into a car, he swiped them. At least one wedding card was found in a car he was driving.

"Joe has a drug problem and I really think Joe needs help. He needs addiction counseling. I don't think Joe needs a jail cell," said Franzone's defense attorney Mathhew Kline.

"The lesson is that crime has short legs," Friedrich said. "If you come to the William Penn Inn you will be caught. Period."  

Franzone, the father of three, was ordered held in $150,000 cash bail after prosecutors recounted his past criminal record.

"He does have several burglary convictions, a theft conviction and drug delivery conviction," Assistant DA Lindsay O'Brien told reporters after Franzone's hearing.

Meanwhile the owner of the William Penn Inn says he will add new surveillance cameras to the sixteen cameras he already has. He's also agreed to make a donation to the bride and groom..

"I have made a generous offer to make the bride and groom whole so that they're walking out of here without any dark cloud," he said.

Police say Franzone is a potential suspect in at least one other recent wedding theft in Lancaster County. No charges have been filed yet in that case.

According to court papers, Franzone's girlfriend told investigators he uses Percocet and likes to gamble at the new Valley Forge Casino nearby.

Franzone is charged with theft, theft from a motor vehicle and receiving stolen property. He faces a preliminary hearing July 19th. He was fingerprinted and photographed, then taken to  the Montgomery Co. Prison.

A judge today reduced his bail from $150,000 to $100,000 dollars Wednesday, July 17th.

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