Bridal bandit to serve 7 years in prison

Posted at 9:05 AM, Apr 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-06 16:48:16-04

SAN DIEGO - A woman who stole wallets and credit cards from brides, bridesmaids and others during four weddings in San Diego was sentenced Wednesday to seven years in state prison.

Denise Gunderson, 50, pleaded guilty in February to grand theft and identity theft, and admitted that she has been to prison three times.

Prosecutors said Gunderson went into unsecured rooms and stole the wallets of people involved in nuptials, including wedding coordinators.

Gunderson was arrested Dec. 6 in Las Vegas, where she was taken into custody for stealing a wallet at a church, according to San Diego County sheriff's Detective Lisa Jenkins.

Though Gunderson lied about her identity to Nevada authorities, detectives soon discovered that she was wanted on various theft charges in Southern California, Jenkins said.

Between July and October, women getting married in San Diego and Riverside counties reported that their wallets had been stolen during their nuptials. Surveillance video captured images of Gunderson at several of the weddings, and also show her later using the victims' credit cards at stores, racking up thousands of dollars in illicit charges, Jenkins said.