Charges: Woman Stole From Church, Possessed Drugs

HASTINGS, Minn. (WCCO) – A 34-year-old Hastings woman is accused of stealing music equipment from a South St. Paul church, pawning it off and also possessing drugs, according to charges field on Dakota County District Court on Friday.

Katherine Anne Obinger was charged with theft and fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance.

According to a criminal complaint, South St. Paul Police responded to a report of a burglary in progress at a South St. Paul church. It was reported that Obinger attempted to steal electronic items from the church but fled when confronted.

Police located Obinger based on a description of the vehicle she was driving and confronted her. She denied stealing anything from the church and offered a search of her car. During that search, an officer found a drug needle that she said was for diabetes.

She didn’t supply any proof of being a diabetic, and at that time, the officer was contacted by another officer who said Obinger should be placed under arrest.

During a search of the vehicle, officers found several pills in the center console, a glass pipe with residue, a copper scourer, a scissors with “office” labeled on it with burnt ends, a “push pull,” a web cam and a “net gear” modem.

Obinger told police she had been at the church that day to go through the music file drawers. She eventually broke down to police that she was a crack user and had intended to steal electronic equipment from the church that day, including three speakers, and pawned the items for $200.

Testing of the pipe showed the presence of cocaine, according to the complaint.

If convicted on both offenses, Obinger faces up to 10 years in prison and/or $20,000 in fines.


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