Unfortunately, this story hits home. Mrs. George was our client who married in early June. Although we take every precaution with your personal belongings, we just can’t be in two places at once. This was very distressing for us and we are pleased the bandit has been captured.
Here is the news story copied from WOAI’s website:
Alleged Bridal Bandit CapturedLAST UPDATE: 7/19/2006 6:36:28 PMPosted By: Mandi Bishop
Many things can go wrong on your wedding day. The photographer is late. You have a bad hair day. You never expect to be robbed!
Police say they caught a local thief targeting brides. News 4 WOAI Trouble Shooter Brian Collister is breaking the story of the alleged “Bridal Bandit.”
“When I came to the conclusion that it only could have happened at the wedding, I was just in disbelief,” said recent bride Karen George. She didn’t just get married on her wedding day, she also got robbed.
She’s in disbelief because, during her ceremony, someone snuck into the bride’s dressing room and stole her credit cards and cash.
“This was an uninvited guest that had invaded our special day, in a church, a place or worship,” George explained.
It turns out, this uninvited guest has been showing up at a lot of weddings around San Antonio. No one put it all together until a dedicated detective figured it out. She came across this bridal bandit while investigating a report of a stolen credit card being used at a local restaurant.
Live Oak detective Anita Seamans told us, “When I found that the credit card was stolen at the church that I worship at, it hit close to home. As I do with all my cases, I prayed over it and did my best.”
Detective Seamans spoke to her pastor, who told her the credit card was stolen during a wedding. So, the detective set up a hidden camera at the next wedding.
“It didn’t take long. About 3 1/2 minutes into the ceremony, me and another female officer observed a female walk into the room and go to each of the purses,” recalled Detective Seamans. She could not believe what she was seeing on tape, which she cannot release until the Bridal Bandit goes to court.
“I was standing there watching it happen on videotape and still kept repeating out loud, ‘I cannot believe she is doing this. I cannot believe she is doing this.’ I could not believe that anyone would steal from God’s house and during the most joyful day in someone’s life, which is their wedding.”
It was Stephanie Bonette’s wedding.
“This is not supposed to happen at my wedding,” Stephanie told us. “This is not what your wedding is supposed to be like.” The bridal bandit stole her credit cards. Stephanie did not know until after the ceremony, when she was approached by the detective.
Stephanie remembered, “She comes up to me very calmly and pats me on the shoulder and says, ‘There’s been a robbery.’ I said, ‘What?!’ I think my jaw dropped.”
Police say the bridal bandit is a woman named Robin Neafie, 30. Neafie is charged with stealing credit cards, but that’s not all. Police later searched Neafie’s apartment and found 18 credit cards, and receipts tying to purchases bought with those cards. Those items include Coach purses, an Ipod, palm pilots, a digital camera, SD cards for the digital camera, and DVD movies.
They also found wedding announcements with notes and directions written on them. Some of those date back to 2002.
Stephanie gave us her thoughts on the alleged suspect.
“I think she is the most horrible and vile person on the face of the earth. This is the most special day in someone’s life, and she is just coming in and destroying it.”
Police tell us Neafie is out of business. She is out on bond, but was unreachable for comment. If you’ve been hit by a bridal bandit call Live Oak Police at 210-653-0033.