A man stole thousands of dollars in gifts meant for the bride and groom at his friend's wedding in Ashland, Massachusetts, this weekend, authorities said.
Daniel Bothwell, 32, of Fairport, New York, appeared in Framingham District Court on Monday where he was arraigned on a felony larceny charge.
"A couple had noticed envelopes torn up around the building that were part of their wedding gifts," Ashland Police Chief Vincent Alfano said.
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The empty envelopes had contained thousands of dollars in cash and checks meant for the newlyweds who had gotten married Saturday.
Investigators interviewed staff, family members and other guests who had attended the reception at the Warren Conference Center, and several reported seeing a tall, bald man spending a lot of time near the gift table, police said.
"Unfortunately a few people came up with the suspect's name, that that suspect might do such a thing, so he immediately became a person of interest," Alfano said.
When Bothwell, a friend of the groom, was tracked down Sunday morning at a local hotel with his parents, he initially denied knowing anything about the missing money, according to police.
Investigators "reminded him that at weddings there are a lot of things on film and you never know what a photographer is going to catch and I think that made the man a little bit nervous and at that point he admitted to what he had taken," Alfano said.
Police say they found wads of cash and checks in Bothwell's pants pocket which totaled nearly $5,000. Bothwell was then arrested.
Police were more than happy to return the money intended for the newlyweds back to the bride and groom.
"They knew how much it meant to the family, especially a young couple starting out," Alfano said. "It's too bad to see that the day was spoiled by somebody's actions."
Bothwell was released on $1,000 bail; inmate records didn't list his attorney for him. He's due back in court Nov. 4 for a pretrial conference.
He could face up to five years in prison if convicted on the felony larceny charge.