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Theft suspects crash wedding in Price, steal gifts from newlyweds

Tarnya Muier
Richard Durand

Sun Advocate associate editor
Sun Advocate reporter

Two suspects were arrested and booked into Carbon County Jail Saturday night after allegedly stealing gift envelopes at a wedding reception in southwest Price and fleeing in a car through town.

The theft charges are considered felonies because of numerous prior convictions, according to Price Police Capt. Bill Barnes. Tarnya Muier, 37, of Taylorsville, has 15 priors. Her partner, 47-year-old Richard Durand, Salt Lake City, has 20, plus three outstanding warrants for theft.

As Barnes related the story, the incident began to unfold during the wedding reception in the Price LDS Sixth Ward, 300 S. 500 South. Keosha Benally and Ryan Rasmussen were the newly-wed couple. Muier, purporting to be a friend of the bride, entered the church. Instead of proceeding through the wedding line, however, she made a beeline for the table loaded with gift envelopes.

She scooped the envelopes into her purse. Halee Namanny, sister of the groom, accosted her. They struggled for the purse.

Namanny managed to wrestle the purse away from Muier, but Durand entered the fray, got the purse and fled with Muier in a car. The driver of the car, a Price woman who told police she did not know about the theft, has not been charged.

Doug Rasmussen, father of the groom, pursued the getaway car through south Price. The pursuit eventually ended on Highway 10 just south of Price when the driver pulled off the road.

Rasmussen confronted the suspects. They told him they had dropped by the wedding to congratulate the newlywed couple.

When he asked for the envelopes back, they produced ten.

Police then arrived, searched the car and came up with ten more.

The total came to $550, Barnes said.

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