Claudia Arango’s wedding was less than two months away when someone broke into her SUV on Friday in the area of Randolph and 14th streets in Northwest D.C., and stole the expensive dress she planned to wear as a bride.
She told WTOP that it was a devastating feeling to open up the back of her vehicle and see that the box that her dress was stored in was empty.
“The dress was in my car because I was in the process of getting alterations made,” Arango said. “You could tell they had gone through the car and things were thrown around.”
The time leading up to a wedding is emotional for everyone, but having something like this happen has made things even more stressful for Arango.
“I feel like I’m living in a nightmare,” she said. “I feel like I’ve been robbed of my special day, and I’ve been robbed of the opportunity of wearing a dress that I feel beautiful in.”
Arango added that the dress was from Australia, and it costs thousands of dollars. She didn’t want to say the exact amount.
“I feel like I’m starting from zero now,” Arango explained. “I don’t even know if I’m going to have enough time to find a new dress and get it altered.”
She is offering a $500 reward to anyone who brings her the dress back “no questions asked.”
“At the end of the day, the wedding is what matters and my union with my partner is what matters, but every woman’s dream is walking down the aisle with her dress of her dreams,” said Arango. “I just feel like that’s been robbed from me.”
Since her story has been circulating online, Arango said she has received numerous messages from women in the community offering to provide her a wedding dress.
“All the support and outreach I’ve received has been restoring my faith in humanity,” she said. “That’s the silver lining I suppose.”