Incarcerated Man Charged for 2021 Rochester, MN Church Burglaries
The warrant complaint, filed Wednesday in Olmsted County Court, indicates the burglaries happened in late January 2021. Rochester Police responded to the first burglary and found the church had been ransacked.
The warrant accuses 29-year-old Gage Nathaniel Kasper of Rochester of carrying out burglaries at the Hope Summit Christian Church in the 1300 block of Sixth Ave. Southeast and at the Redeemer Lutheran Church located in the 850 7th block of Ave. Southeast. Surveillance cameras at the Hope Summit church show a man later identified as Kasper enter the building on two different occasions through an unsecured door then ransacking offices, the complaint says.
Church leaders reported several electronic devices and donation boxes containing cash, gas cards and other items were stolen as a result of the burglary and ransacking. The burglary at Redeemer Lutheran Church was reported one week later. A review of surveillance footage shows Kasper breaking into the building by damaging a door and window, the warrant states.
The church reported two laptops, a pair of checkbooks, two credit cards and a camera missing. Court documents say Rochester Police received a tip nine days after the first burglary from a tenant at an apartment complex, who said Kasper was living at the building and that he told the complainant he had committed the church burglary.
Officers responded to the building and encountered Kasper walking away. He was uncooperative and refused to answer questions from the officer, the warrant says.
The landlord told police he suspected Kasper had moved out of apartment shortly after the two burglaries. Officers then searched the apartment Kasper was staying at and found two shoes that matched shoes seen by cameras in the church burglaries. investigators were then informed in the spring of 2022 that Duluth Police had impounded a vehicle Kasper was driving and found items inside of it linked to the Rochester church burglaries, the charges say.
The warrant charges Kasper with two counts of felony second-degree burglary of a religious building and one count of felony theft. Wisconsin Court records indicate Kapser, who has 39 prior criminal convictions, was sentenced to a three-year prison term in November 2021 in connection to a conviction in a northern Wisconsin, according to the criminal complaint.
He’s currently incarcerated at a Wisconsin State Correctional facility in Boscobel.