By Hub City Times staff
MARSHFIELD — A Marshfield woman and a Spencer man were charged with theft following a report to Marshfield police that donations made to local red Salvation Army buckets were missing.
On Dec. 18 a Marshfield woman notified officers that the donation funds she had collected in the city of Marshfield and secured in her vehicle’s trunk had been taken some time after she brought them home on Dec. 17.
According to the criminal complaint, the woman stated that there was approximately $3,000 to $4,000 bundled and secured inside her vehicle and that Kayla M. Hardinger, 21, Marshfield, had access to the vehicle, bucket keys, and knew the location of the Salvation Army buckets.
Police spoke to Hardinger on Jan. 4, and Hardinger claimed that Matthew A. Atkinson, 25, Spencer, had taken the money and given her a portion of it.
The report also stated that Hardinger had in her possession keys that matched the lock on the red donation kettles.
When police questioned Atkinson, he admitted to seeing Hardinger take the money from the trunk of the car and claimed that she said that she had been doing it for years.
Atkinson estimated the recent theft to be around $800 but said the total over the past years could have totaled $3,000 to $4,000. He stated that the stolen money was used to buy drugs.
On Jan. 9 officers spoke to another witness who claimed to see Hardinger and Atkinson break open a kettle containing an estimated total of $1,000.
Atkinson and Hardinger were both charged with theft of $2,500-$5,000, a Class I felony that comes with a fine of up to $10,000 and/or three years and six months in prison.
Atkinson was also charged with two counts of bail jumping, a Class H felony that comes with up $10,000 in fines and/or up to six years in prison.