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Woman caught with stolen chalices from Catholic church

SIBLEY, Iowa -- A Sibley woman was arrested Saturday and is facing a second-degree theft class D felony charges for possessing stolen property. During a search warrant execution in May, two gold chalices stolen from St. Andrew's Catholic Church were discovered in the trunk of 19-year-old Heather Lynn Kruger's car.

According to the criminal complaint, a search warrant was served on Kruger for both her residence and her vehicle. An officer located the two chalices, which Kruger claimed she had gotten from her grandmother. Her grandmother, she allegedly said, had purchased them at a yard sale.

When authorities contacted Kruger's grandmother, the woman alleged Kruger had called and asked that she cover for her. The grandmother told authorities she would not cover for Kruger and that the chalices had not come from her.

Kruger later admitted she knew the chalices were in her trunk, but denied knowing how they got there.

According to Osceola County Sheriff Doug Weber, a burglary at St. Andrew's Catholic Church was reported Feb. 2. A small safe taken during the burglary has not yet been recovered. The chalices are valued at approximately $1,500 each.

During a small rash of vandalisms in May, a deputy had gone to Kruger's residence to speak with a male subject who may have been involved in the vandalisms. When the deputy knocked on the door, he heard people moving around, but no one answered the door. He looked in a window and observed liquor bottles, beer cans and a bong he believed may be used to smoke marijuana.

Weber said the people who frequent the residence are under age.

Based on this information, the deputy secured a search warrant, and during its execution discovered the chalices.

"He did a good job," Weber stated. "It was just good old-fashioned police work."

Kruger was booked into the Osceola County Jail on a $5,000 cash only bond. Her next court appearance is scheduled for July 20.