Groom chases thief who grabbed wedding gifts

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Posted: Wednesday, July 2, 2014 9:24 am

JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) -- A Kansas couple who had just renewed their wedding vows got a rude shock when a man tried to steal wedding gifts from the reception and the groom ran after him shouting "Stop! Thief! Stop!"

Jared Lightle, of Galena, Kansas, was outside during the reception Saturday after renewing his vows with his wife, Stephanie, at the Scottish Rite Temple in downtown Joplin when his mother yelled that someone had taken cards from a gift table in the lobby.

Lightle said he saw a man across the street with wedding cards in his hand and yelled at him to stop. But the suspect began running and Lightle took off after him, yelling "Stop! Thief! Stop."

Police who were investigating a traffic accident nearby eventually caught the suspect, The Joplin Globe reported ( http://bit.ly/TzkWyh ). Rosario Caruso, 31, of Lamar, was charged with trespassing, larceny and resisting arrest.

"If we hadn't caught the guy, it would have ended an otherwise perfect celebration on a very bitter note," Lightle said.

The couple was left with the hassle of trying to match recovered gift cards and cash with the gift givers.

Lightle was pleased that police apprehended the suspect, and said it appears justice will be served.

The Lightles were renewing their vows Saturday to mark the one-year anniversary of their wedding at a courthouse near Fort Hood, Texas, just before Jared, a combat engineer with the 1st Cavalry Division, was deployed to Afghanistan. The Joplin ceremony, with 175 guests, was the traditional wedding that the couple planned for when he returned.

"I guess we're going to have a very unique wedding story to tell the rest of our lives," Lightle said.

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Information from: The Joplin (Mo.) Globe, http://www.joplinglobe.com

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