Groom chases thief who took wedding gifts

July 2, 2014 at 2:48 PM ET

This thief picked the wrong groom to mess with!

Army veteran Jared Lightle and his wife Stephanie had just renewed their vows and were enjoying their reception on Saturday when they spotted an uninvited guest swiping gifts and cards from a table in the lobby of their wedding venue in Joplin, Missouri.

Video: In TODAY’s Take, Willie Geist and Tamron Hall discuss a Missouri wedding on Saturday during which guests spotted a thief swiping gifts. The groom, who’d just returned from a tour in Afghanistan, ran after the thief, who was caught by cops. “Wrong one to mess with,” says Tamron.

The man ran, so Jared, his brother and father gave chase and onlookers pointed out which way the thief fled.

A nearby police officer eventually caught the suspect a few blocks away.

“I hadn’t seen Jared for about 15 minutes so I asked my mom where he was," Stephanie told TODAY. "She told me he was off apprehending a criminal!”

Watch: Groom chases thief who took wedding gifts

The fast-acting robber apparently tried to multitask, checking out his haul as he tried to escape the scene.

“The whole time he was running he was ripping open cards, taking gift cards," Stephanie added. "They recovered everything but we had to go back and find them!”

Jared and Stephanie first married at a courthouse one year ago, before Jared was suddenly deployed to Afghanistan.