Former Arizona sheriff’s deputy arrested for allegedly crashing weddings and stealing newlyweds’ gifts

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A former sheriff’s deputy in Arizona allegedly crashed as many as 11 weddings and stole thousands of dollars worth of gifts from newly married couples, the Chandler Police Department said this week. 

Landon Earl Rankin, 54, was arrested Thursday on suspicion of two counts of burglary in relations to thefts at two Phoenix-area weddings last month. 

He is also facing several drug charges after police found amphetamine and fentanyl in his possession, according to Chandler police. 

Landon Earl Rankin, 54, was arrested this week on burglary and drug charges. 

Landon Earl Rankin, 54, was arrested this week on burglary and drug charges.  (Chandler Police Department)

Rankin would allegedly pose as a guest at weddings and steal boxes of wedding cards. The boxes at the Phoenix-area weddings both contained between $3,000 and $6,000. 

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During the investigation, police uncovered at least 11 recent incidents of similar wedding thefts in the East Valley region of Arizona that Rankin could be responsible for.

Surveillance images released by the Chandler Police Department show Rankin in a button-down shirt and slacks running with what is allegedly the wedding card boxes in a plastic bag. 

Police released these surveillance images of Rankin allegedly fleeing a wedding with boxes of wedding cars containing thousands in cash. 

Police released these surveillance images of Rankin allegedly fleeing a wedding with boxes of wedding cars containing thousands in cash.  (Chandler Police Department)

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Rankin retired from the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office in 2015 after 21 years on the force. 

He told police after he was arrested that he attended the weddings to hear the vows “because he was going through a divorce,” according to a probable-cause statement. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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