The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

September 7, 2012

Was Girl Scout leader caught with hand in cookie jar?

CENTERVILLE — Heather Lynn Benjamin, 30, of Centerville, the former leader of Troop 665 in Centerville, has been charged with first degree theft after being accused of stealing $12,035.96 from her troop's account between Oct. 3, 2011 and Aug. 29, 2012.

According to the complaint and affidavit from Centerville Police Officer Brandon Knapp filed Sept. 4, from October of 2011 to August of 2012, Benjamin was allegedly using the troop account at Community 1st Credit Union as her personal account, registering 158 transactions to restaurants, convenience stores, ATM withdrawals and other personal purchases.

The troop held two sales one in fall 2011 and one in spring 2012, raising $17,043 from selling cookies, nuts and magazines.

According to Knapp's complaint and affidavit, Benjamin sent a check for $7,500 to the Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa Council and the check was returned for non-sufficient funds. The account was closed by the council on or about Aug. 29 with a balance of $5,007.04. The remaining balance was applied to the $17,043.00 the troop owes. Benjamin is accused of stealing $12,035.96 from the account, an amount the troop still owes to the Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa Council.

The affidavit goes on to say that Benjamin admitted in an interview on Sept. 4 to stealing money from the account.

Benjamin was being held on a $10,000 bond but was later released on her own recognizance. Her preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 19 at 8:30 a.m.

First degree theft is a class "C" felony in the state of Iowa. If convicted of a class "C" felony, the punishment can be up to 10 years imprisonment and a fine of $1,000 to $10,000.

Text Only
Southeast Iowa
  • Centerville drug take back set for April 26

    On April 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Appanoose County sheriff and the Drug Enforcement Administration will give the public its eighth opportunity in three years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired

    April 23, 2014

  • Iowa delays plan to move inmates out of old prison FORT MADISON, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Department of Corrections is delaying plans to close the 175-year-old Iowa State Penitentiary after discovering problems in the heating and cooling system in its $132 million replacement. The department said Tuesday

    April 23, 2014

  • 0423 OTT Byway color photo -L -T -M Bike the Byway coming to southeast Iowa

    OTTUMWA — The first Bike the Byway ride will feature communities along the Historic Hills Scenic Byway and make for a fun day of bike riding. Scheduled for June 21, the ride will begin in Ottumwa and take cyclists through Blakesburg, Unionville, Drak

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • Iowa gets nearly $72M in yearly tobacco payment Eds: APNewsNow. DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa received $71 million last week from tobacco companies — its annual share of a 1998 landmark legal settlement in which tobacco companies pay states for smoking-related health care costs. The Iowa Attorney

    April 21, 2014

  • Volksweg.jpg New Section of Volksweg Trail Now Open

    The 1.25 mile newly constructed section of the paved Volksweg Trail between Fifield Recreation Area and the new Robert's Creek Trailhead has been opened.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Managing concerns about falls with program The fear of falling can be just as dangerous as falling itself. People who develop this fear often limit their activities, which can result in severe physical weakness, making the risk of falling even greater. Many older adults also experience increa

    April 21, 2014

  • North Mahaska Jazz North Mahaska Jazz Band are Class 1A state jazz champions

    The title is the fourth in the past six years for North Mahaska's jazz juggernaut.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • New boilers cost district $380,000 The summer boiler replacement projects will be getting underway after the Centerville School Board approved a $380,801 bid from Capital City Boiler and Machine Works out of Des Moines during their April 14 meeting. Six bids were received and the boar

    April 18, 2014

  • Troy Rider.jpg Judge grants motion on witness comments

    Judge John Lloyd has granted a motion, filed by Troy Neil Rider's defense, to limit extrajudicial comment by witnesses regarding the sexual abuse case against Rider. 

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • DOT photo Public learns latest about Northwest Bypass at DOT meeting

    OSKALOOSA -- Many area residents learned the latest about the U.S. 63 Northwest Bypass of Oskaloosa at a public information meeting held Wednesday evening at Oskaloosa Middle School. The two-hour meeting featured tables with maps of the three propose

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

AP National