Public Safety

Arrest Warrant Issued for Wedding Thief Suspect

An arrest warrant has been issued for a 50-year-old woman suspected of stealing from brides and members of the bridal parties in at least six cases in San Diego County and Riverside counties, the San Diego Sheriff’s Department reports.

Denise Louise Burns, who also has been known to use the name Denise Gunderson, is apparently in hiding and is aware that the Sheriff’s Department is looking for her. Detective Lisa Jenkins said if anyone has any information on her whereabouts, they can call Crime Stoppers at 1-888-580-8477 or visit sdcrimestoppers.org, if they want to remain anonymous. If the information leads to an arrest, the tipster could receive up to a $1,000 reward.

Investigators said Burns dresses up like a wedding party guest and tells people that she is a guest if they see her wandering a wedding venue. Somehow, she finds her way to the bridal suite and while the ceremony is taking place, she is helping herself to all the wallets, cash and credit cards she can find in the room.

“Once she has possession of the stolen credit cards, she begins using them immediately, knowing they’d be safe to use because the victims wouldn’t know of the theft yet,” said Jenkins, adding that the thief “takes the cake pretty much” in her brazen crime.

Jenkins said Burns has victimized people at weddings in Fallbrook, La Mesa, Santee, Coronado, and twice in Temecula. When arrested, she faces the following charges: four counts of grand theft, 11 counts of fraud, and 10 counts of burglary.

In a June 7 crime at the Pala Mesa Resort near Fallbrook, the victim secured the bridal suite prior to her evening ceremony. The couple returned an hour later, but did not realize the room had been burglarized until the following day when the bride could not find her wallet. Upon contacting her bank, she was informed of multiple charges made on her card(s) during the ceremony.

In another case, money that was to be used to pay for the wedding was stolen from the room.

Burns has a history of committing similar crimes in San Diego, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

People who have information may also reach out directly to Jenkins at (760) 451-3106.

Yvette Urrea Moe is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact