Friday, February 22, 2008

What's In a Name

Ever feel like changing your name? It's bad enough most people think we have some magical connection to Ryan S-E-A-C-R-E-S-T (American Idol guy). But we have no "A" in our name - therefore no connection. Now this lady person "mom" goes and does this. Even though I spell my first name differently, I think that this is just the kind of trouble people will think I could find myself in. After all, I do have a really good sense of humor and, who doesn't love a good robbery of a church safe story!!

Alleged burglars laughed all way home, but last
laugh's on them

Two men are charged with stealing guns, antique war clubs and
Samurai swords from a home in Hugo, but one left behind something of his own:
cigarette butts.

Last update: February 22, 2008 - 12:02 AM

And the mother of one man joined in the laughter, according to a letter she
wrote that is described in charges against the men.

Eugene D. Benshoof, 28, and Matthew J. Secrest, 23, each were charged with
second-degree burglary in connection with stealing the safe and other goods from
St. Peter's Catholic Church in North St. Paul on Jan. 4.

Both also were charged Thursday in Washington County District Court with
aiding and abetting first- and second-degree burglary in connection with the
November burglary of a home in Hugo in which guns, antique war clubs, Samurai
swords and other items were stolen.

According to a complaint filed last week, burglars got into St. Peter's
Catholic Church at 2590 Margaret St. by breaking through a temporary
construction wall. Cash, gift cards, a safe, a wireless microphone and a sound
mixing board with a total value of more than $15,000 were stolen, the complaint

An informant's tip led police to search the home that Benshoof shared with
Secrest and his mother, Debra Secrest. Investigators found the safe door, other
items from the church and a letter written by Debra Secrest. The letter said the
men told her they had to drive 15 miles home with the back doors open because
the safe was too big for their vehicle, the complaint said.

"According to the letter, all three of them were laughing hysterically about
the incident and Debra Secrest just had to tell someone about it," the complaint

In the search, investigators also found several commemorative plates taken
during the Hugo burglary, which was discovered Nov. 27 when the homeowner
returned from a two-week trip to China, the Washington County complaint

Benshoof told police that he and Secrest had stolen swords, a tool chest, a
handgun and an AK47 assault rifle, the document said. He said Secrest had sold
the AK47; two Samurai swords had been pawned in Forest Lake, the complaint

Benshoof admitted to police that he'd left behind some items of his own:
cigarette butts and an empty Winston cigarette pack found at the crime

Pat Pheifer • 651-298-1551