Retired Deputy Accused Of Crashing Weddings To Steal Gifts From Newlyweds

Landon Earl Rankin, 54

Photo: Chandler Police Department

A retired Arizona sheriff's deputy was arrested for allegedly crashing numerous weddings and stealing tens of thousands of dollars from the bride and groom.

Landon Earl Rankin, 54, has been linked to at least 11 wedding card box thefts throughout the state. Authorities began investigating the thefts after a card box was stolen from a wedding in Chandler on April 15. On April 30, Rankin allegedly struck again, stealing another wedding card box.

Officials said that each box contained between $3,000 and $6,000.

Rankin was identified as the suspect in a similar theft in nearby Pinal County, where he used to work as a sheriff's deputy. He was taken into custody and charged with two counts of burglary. He also was charged with several drug offenses because he had fentanyl and amphetamine on him when he was arrested.

Rankin told detectives that he attended the weddings to hear the bride and groom exchange their vows "because he was going through a divorce."

Rankin was denied bail and is expected to face additional charges as the investigation continues.

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