The Keys to a Successful Marriage: Wedding Theft Strands Guests

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    Valet keys were stolen from a Long Island country club.

    Only two weeks on the job and Steve Squitiro was facing a full-fledged wedding nightmare.

    "It was scary," said the new general manager of the Woodbury Country Club in Woodbury, N.Y. "Two hundred people are looking at me and what am I supposed to do?"

    Those wedding guests had just learned their car keys were stolen from the valet company handling the wedding.

    The thief jumped from a car passing through the country club parking lot and grabbed the wooden board holding all the keys, said Squitiro.

    In all, 55 sets of keys were taken, according to Nassau County police.

    "A search of the area yielded negative results.  We don't have any further leads," said Det. Lt. John MacEwen.

    The theft left many of the guests stranded. The country club and valet company, Elite Valet of Floral Park, eventually stepped in to help, footing the bill for either cab rides home or rooms at area hotels. They will also pay to replace the lost car keys.

    "It caused a tremendous amount of grief for a lot of people, especially the bride and groom," said Squitiro, who added that the unidentified bride wasn't told about the theft until the wedding was nearly over.

    The groom was a Suffolk County police officer and many of the guests were police officers, according to the country club.  But there's no indication that had anything to do with the theft.

    No cars have been stolen in the aftermath of the key theft, said police.

    Surveillance cameras outside the club captured the theft, confirmed Squitiro and police are now hunting the thieves.

    "I think it was a malicious act, by someone who knew what they were doing and what problems it would cause," added Squitiro.