Stillwater Man Arrested For Allegedly Stealing Gift Cards from Church
A 22-year-old Stillwater man told police that he went to Our Saviors Lutheran Church last Sunday and stole $600 worth of gift cards from the pastor's office while he was giving a sermon.
A 22-year-old Stillwater man was arrested Tuesday for allegedly stealing $600 worth of gift cards from Our Saviors Lutheran Church.
According to the police report:
Pastor Steven Herbert Molin of Saviors Lutheran Church told police that someone stole about $600 in gift cards to Holiday, Cub Foods and Target from an envelope in his office. Molin told police he didn’t know who may have stolen the gift cards, which were bought for use in “The Grace Fund.”
“The Grace Fund” is set aside by the church to aid people who are indignant or having a personal crisis and in need of help. Molin told police he appropriates the money and disseminates the funds.
Molin said he has kept the envelope in the same place for years, and does retrieve the gift cards in the presence of the recipient.
After receiving the report, police contacted Holiday’s Corporate Offices in an attempt to acquire receipts and surveillance footage. While an employee at Holiday was attempting to access that information, she saw that a transaction with one of the stolen cards being used at the Holiday store on Manning Avenue near Interstate 94.
After getting speaking with store employees and gaining video footage, police identified a suspect vehicle that was later scene at Lily Lake Ice Arena. Police also found several of the stolen gift cards, the report states.
The 22-year-old man’s girlfriend told police she went to the church with her boyfriend on Sunday between 9-10 a.m., when her boyfriend told her to wait in the lobby while he spoke with the pastor.
He returned moments later with about 30 gift cards in his hand, the report states. The couple then reportedly went to Target where they bought cell phones, as well as food, pillows, clothing, sleeping bags and several other items with the gift cards.
The man told police he went to the church to speak with Pastor Molin, who was giving a sermon at the time. He then allegedly went into the pastor’s office and stole the gift cards he knew would be there.