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Thief takes couple's wedding memories

May 28, 2009 11:28:57 AM PDT
A thief who stole a camera from a Buena Park hotel got away with more than just a camera. He took a couple's wedding memories along with it.The general manager of Holiday Inn Javier Solis is sharing surveillance video of the suspect in hopes of catching the suspect.

Victims Chris and Areli Kahl had just said their vows Saturday, and they were at the Holiday Inn for their reception at about 3 p.m.

Surveillance video shows the suspect wearing a white dress shirt, clutching his suit jacket and lingering around the hotel lobby for about 10 minutes as a photographer takes pictures of the newlyweds.

"This suspect appeared to be casing the lobby area. It's not uncommon for suspects to look for property they can steal," said Sgt. William Kohanek from the Buena Park Police Department.

At one point in the surveillance video, the suspect looks like he may be about to take something, but he changes his mind. He walks around a little more.

But when the photographer puts the camera down again on the table, the suspect moves quickly.

After a person walks past, the suspect grabs the camera and hides it under his jacket, then flees.

"It makes me angry when I view the video. I get upset. The gall of someone to mill around and act like they're part of the group and then go away with something so precious," Solis said.

Police said the suspect left in a newer model black compact Corolla or Yaris.

The photographer had taken nearly 800 photos of the wedding and reception, but all the newlyweds have now are some photos taken by friends and family.

While the couple honeymoons in Florida, family members hope the suspect will do the right thing and return the camera, or at least the memory card inside it.

Solis said if the suspect mailed thememory card to the hotel, he would make sure the family received it.

"That's something that cannot be replaced, cannot be replaced. We feel for them. We really would like to find a way to catch this guy," Solis said.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Buena Park Police Department at (714) 562-3970.

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