Complaint: One defendant thought he was "going to hell" for the crime
One of two Waukesha men who reportedly broke into St. Joseph's Catholic Church early in the morning on Jan. 16 and carried out a stolen safe containing two chalices told his girlfriend he was "going to hell" for the crime, according to a criminal complaint.
On Jan. 26, those men – Vincent Daniels and Travis Heath – were charged in Waukesha County Circuit Court with burglary of a building or dwelling and theft of movable property.
According to the complaint, Daniels and Heath used a rock to smash through a door at the rear of the church, 818 N. East Ave., and removed the safe, which had been bolted to the inside of a cabinet.
Police, with the help of confidential informants, tracked the safe to Daniels' apartment in the 800 block of East North Street and found it there in pieces, but the chalices – valued at $20,000 and $30,000 – were gone, the complaint said.
Daniels reportedly denied having anything to do with the burglary when first interviewed by police, despite being caught on surveillance footage carrying the safe into his apartment, but later told an officer in the complaint that he planned to melt down the chalices for money.
Heath did not give a statement to police, according to the complaint. His girlfriend said in the complaint that later, on the morning of the incident, Heath told her he was "going to hell" but did not explain why. When she heard about the burglary later that week, she told officers she "put two and two together" and believed Heath was in part responsible.
Both chalices were recovered on Jan. 23 in Milwaukee, police said. One of them was partially disassembled.
Online court records indicate that Heath and Daniels made their initial appearances on Jan. 26, and that Daniels had another hearing scheduled for Friday, Jan. 27. Heath's next court date wasn't immediately available.
If convicted, both men could face up to more than 22 years in prison and $50,000 in fines.