Turn out the lights, the party's over for two suspects

Two 20-year-old men allegedly set up a scheme to swindle upper-class partiers out of their gifts at two country clubs in the Northampton area. The pair crashed three parties during the spring as they stole close to $10,000 from their victims, authorities say. At each party, the men escalated in their brazenness, increasing the amount of money they took at the events, which included a bat mitzvah and two weddings.

One of the men now accused allegedly attended parties where he knew no one, mingled with guests, socialized, consumed food and drinks and stole money and checks from the guests of honor. He wore appropriate party attire so that he blended in with the other guests. His co-defendant waited outside in an escape vehicle so the pair could quickly flee, according to investigators. Other related incidents of theft and stolen property in a nearby town are still under investigation.

The men were ultimately arrested when a wedding coordinator saw one of the suspects at a second event she worked. She had identified him in earlier surveillance videos. She watched him leave in the getaway vehicle.

The pair has been charged with a variety of counts and crimes including theft and receiving stolen property. The maximum sentence for each crime is seven years in custody. The men have no known prior criminal records and were released on unsecured bail.

While the men are facing third-degree felony charges, it remains to be seen if they will plead guilty or try to have their charges reduced. In difficult economic times, people might consider running afoul of the law in order to try to reverse their fiscal standing -- certainly not advisable, but perhaps understandable should a jury ultimately decide the case.

Source: Phillyburbs.com, "Warrington men charged with crashing parties, stealing gift money," Jo Ciavaglia, Aug. 5, 2012

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