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Two arrested in case of stolen church bell

Monday, September 22, 2008

(Photo)
Gratitude for a job well done - Pastor Clint Hogrefe of the Oakdale Evangelical Free Church in rural Meriden is pictured giving thanks to Sheriff Dave Scott and the rest of the Cherokee Sheriff's office on Sept. 18 for their hard work on quickly retrieving the bell that was taken from the church on the night of Sept. 14. Hogrefe told Sheriff Scott that he had made the people of his congregation 'very happy' by returning the bell that has been part of the church since 1926. Pictured, left to right, Sheriff Dave Scott, Deputy Mike McGee, Deputy Kenny Frank,Oakdale Pastor Clint Hogrefe and Deputy Jeff Friedrichsen. Photo by Mike Leckband
The Cherokee County Sheriff's office has charged Dustin William Coates, age 22, of Paullina, and Anthony Gene Heitman, age 26, of Paullina, with theft in the third degree, a Class D felony.

Both are being held on a $5,000 bond at the Cherokee County Jail. The charges are the result of an investigation by the Cherokee County Sheriff's office into the theft of a church bell from the Oakdale Evangelical Free Church in rural Meriden.

The church bell was stolen on the evening of Sept. 14, and sold at Ron's Salvage Yard in Lakefield, Minn.

This Church Bell has been part of the Oakdale Evangelical Free Church since 1926, and was returned to the church on Sept. 18, 2008. The metal in the 500-pound bell is valued at about $1,500.

The Cherokee County Sheriff's office was assisted in the investigation by the O'Brien County Sheriff's office and in the recovery of the bell by the Jackson County Sheriff's office in Jackson, Minn.



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