I've noticed that weddings in general have provided great blog fodder throughout the years, from the time a friend and I misread the date of a friend's wedding, and consequently missed it, to the time where friends and I have observed favourite uncles (probably after a drink too many) who are known to have sung karaoke style at weddings, and even where unsuspecting friends (that's us) who wanted to have a nice Chinese dinner have accidentally crashed a stranger's wedding dinner (although they paid for their own food, the unexpected entertainment was free!)
A few years ago, a friend casually remarked (coincidentally this was at another friend's wedding) that Malaysians had the tendency to even invite someone they had only met the day before to their weddings. That, and the fact that certain communities choose to have their weddings at home instead of a hall was probably the reason why the very first wedding thief thought that this would be a pretty good modus operandi. Yes, you read that right. Weddings are now the target of thieves.
I first heard this story from my boss, whose wife was a victim about two years ago. They had gone back to their hometown in Kelantan for a wedding at their relative's house. As usual, they'd thought that weddings were a community gathering, everyone knows everyone, and thus they could be trusted. All the women collectively chucked their handbags into one of the bedrooms in the house. They even probably locked the room with a key, but the sight of a forty something lady walking along the corridor asking for the key so that she too could leave her handbag there while the ceremony was going on was greeted without any suspicion. After all, forty something ladies at a wedding were definitely bound to be someone's relative, right?
Not in this case, apparently.
After the wedding, ladies of the house were baffled at their missing purses (those who kept them in the safety of the room, that is) It was only later they discovered a trash bag full of purses hidden near one of the parked cars. Upon further inspection (and probably information from the police), they found out that the purses were stolen during another wedding from a neighbouring vicinity. Weddings also seem to be clustered around school holidays.
I thought it was just the few isolated cases in Kelantan. About two weeks ago, my colleague's daughter got married in the town I live in. It was a similar setting, lots of people were invited, it was in held in a house, etc and things got stolen. What was really creepy about the whole thing was that this woman happily mingled around with the guests and shook hands with them as though she was one of the relatives. Wait, that wasn't THE creepy part, really. What was REALLY creepy was the fact that no one noticed or realised that she was not supposed to be there in the first place. It was only after she left and had stolen quite a bit from the house and the guests that people realised something was wrong. By then it was too late. My colleague had even posted up a photo of her on Facebook, warning others who were going to get married to be careful of her.