Jeff Columbo’s weekend in Stillwater became more expensive Thursday.
Columbo’s 20-year-old daughter, Ariana, and her fiance visited a downtown restaurant Thursday afternoon. When the couple returned to Columbo’s home between Somerset and New Richmond, Wis., Ariana realized she left her purse at the restaurant.
The couple returned to the restaurant to discover Ariana’s purse missing, along with $500 cash she was carrying that would have paid for some of the costs associated with her wedding Saturday aboard one of the St. Croix Packet paddlewheelers.
The Columbos reported Ariana’s lost purse to the Stillwater Police Department. The family believes someone entered the restaurant after Ariana and her fiance left and took the purse. Jeff Columbo said the restaurant manager told the family she remembered seeing his daughter with the purse in the restaurant.
“She’s 100 percent sure she left it on a chair in Dairy Queen,” said Jeff Columbo. “The manager remembered the purse. It was a big flashy purse. She forgot to grab it. Whoever came in afterward saw it.”
Along with the cash, Jeff Columbo said his daughter lost her identification, credit cards, car keys, Kohl’s gift cards Ariana was going to give her bridesmaids and other belongings. He added Ariana had planned to deposit the money she was carrying in the bank after cashing her paycheck from a St. Croix Falls veterinary clinic, one of the two jobs Ariana holds.
“That was actually her paycheck. She cashed it and was going to bring it to the bank but didn’t,” Jeff Columbo said.
He added that he hopes the restaurant’s security cameras have footage of whoever took his daughter’s purse.
“It was pretty quiet in Dairy Queen when they were there,” Jeff Columbo said.
Despite the theft of his daughter’s purse and the lost money, Ariana Columbo will go ahead with her wedding Saturday to Dustin Green, according to Jeff Columbo. He said the couple got engaged in mid-June and decided to wed this month instead of 2013. He added that the pair had about two months to plan their wedding and “have worked super hard to get everything ready.”
But unless police can find Ariana’s purse and cash, Jeff Columbo will have to dip into his wallet and help out the young couple.