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Former PCSO deputy pleads guilty to burglarizing Valley weddings

Chandler police called Landon Rankin, a former police officer, the "wedding crasher bandit" after he got caught stealing from newlywed couples in the Valley.

CHANDLER, Ariz. — Editor's Note: The above video is from an earlier broadcast.

The former Pinal County Sheriff's Office deputy accused of crashing multiple Valley weddings and stealing property has pleaded guilty to several crimes, court records show. 

Landon Rankin, 55, was arrested in May by Chandler police after surveillance footage captured the former police officer walking into wedding receptions and pretending to appear as one of the ceremony's guests.

Rankin would walk out of the venues carrying card boxes holding monetary gifts for the newlyweds, Chandler police said. At the time of his arrest, investigators believed Rankin was involved in wedding thefts reported in Mesa, Gilbert, and Apache Junction. 

RELATED: Former PCSO deputy arrested for allegedly stealing wedding card boxes

Court records show Rankin pleaded guilty earlier this month to multiple counts of third-degree burglary and second-degree escape. The presumptive prison sentence for a single burglary charge in Arizona is 2.5 years. 

The defendant had been an investigator at PCSO for more than 20 years and worked on some high-profile cases, according to Rankin's LinkedIn page

State records indicate Rankin surrendered his peace officer certification in 2018.

Shortly before the wedding thefts, Rankin had been prosecuted in Pinal County for drug charges. Court records show prosecutors suspended the charges after Rankin agreed to participate in a diversion program. 

A couple of weeks before his arrest for the wedding thefts, prosecutors in Pinal County notified the court they intended to resume prosecution after Rankin failed to complete the program's requirements.

Rankin was sentenced on Sept. 13 to serve 2.5 years in the Arizona Department of Corrections, followed by three years of supervised probation. 

Credit: Arizona Dept. of Corrections

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