Wedding photographer charged with theft from couples - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Wedding photographer charged with theft from couples

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Police say a Louisville-based wedding photographer who took thousands of dollars from clients without showing up for their weddings is now in custody years after he absconded with the cash.

According to multiple arrest warrants, 45-year-old Ramon Rodriguez was arrested in Niagara County, NY, on Friday morning.

Police say that from Aug. 2008 to March 2009, Rodriguez took over $9,000 from several clients to shoot photographs at various weddings.

Shana and Harrison Hays of New Albany believe they are among his alleged victims.  On Monday, they enjoyed looking at their wedding pictures.

They felt lucky to find a skilled and reliable photographer after their they said their first choice, Rodriguez, took their $3,000+ and ran.

"We had a phone call from one of those friends one day who was like, 'Guess what?' You know, he's skipped town," Harrison Hays said.

"And then we saw it on the news that night that he had left, and no one knew where he was," Shana Hays said.

Their trust had been broken.

"I was ready to pound the concrete and go find him. Because he had to be somewhere," Harrison Hays said. 

"I was just kind of in shock. We really didn't know what to do," Shana Hays said.

Rodriguez's local charges include escape from work release in 2009 -- and six theft counts related to theft from couples waiting for their weddings in 2008 and 2009.

The Hays' allegations are not among them.  They hope to talk to metro police.

WDRB News has heard from couples like the Hayses who had a church date, paid a partial or full amount, and then couldn't find Rodriguez. Others showed up for their weddings and he wasn't here. Still more just want their pictures.

"I'm just glad he got caught. That's how you stop people from doing these things in the future and get what they have coming to them," Harrison Hays said.

In April 2009, police say Rodriguez escaped from a Louisville Metro Corrections facility after he refused to return to the facility during an authorized release for work. He was supposed to remain in custody until May 4, 2009, pending a court date to answer for charges of assault, wanton endangerment, DUI and other charges, according to the warrant.

Police say after he escaped, Rodriguez failed to return the above mentioned money to his clients -- and one of his clients had heard a rumor that Rodriguez had closed his business and left the country.

But according to arrest reports, Rodriguez, who has been living in Lockport, NY, was taken into custody at 8 a.m. on Friday.

He is now charged with escape and multiple theft charges, according to court documents.

Rodriguez is scheduled for arraignment on the charges Friday in circuit court in Louisville.

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