Iowa women arrested in equestrian center theft

MORRISON – Police say two Iowa women stole thousands of dollars in tack from a horse therapy group that helps people with disabilities.

Krista P. Godat, 45, of Clinton, was arrested Thursday and Jolene L. Decker, 55, of Camanche, was arrested Friday by Morrison police.

Godat is charged with burglary, which carries 3 to 7 years in prison, and theft, which carries 2 to 5 years. In a separate but related case, she also is charged with possession of less than 5 grams of meth, also punishable by 2 to 5 years.

She is being held on $75,000 bond and has a preliminary hearing June 15.

Decker, whose case was not yet available in online records Friday, preliminarily was charged with two counts of burglary and one of theft. She is free on a recognizance bond, jail records show.

The two are accused of stealing $10,000 in tack from the nonprofit White Oaks Therapeutic Equestrian Center’s barn at the Whiteside County fairgrounds in Morrison sometime after 6 p.m. Sunday.

Most of the stolen items, which included saddles and saddle racks, were recovered, Morrison police said.

Before the arrests, a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to replace the equipment raised more than $11,000 by the time it was closed Saturday.

The investigation is ongoing and more charges may be filed.

“We have worked very hard over several years to acquire nice equipment for the riders in our program, whether it be working to find item donors or fundraising and grant writing to be able to buy new, and with everything that is now gone, I am heartbroken to announce that our ability to operate remains uncertain at this time,” according to the statement from White Oaks.

Items taken include 10 Circle Y flex tree western saddles with safety stirrups, five new western saddle pads, several western girths, cordless Wahl clippers, several sets of reins, and two 3-tier saddle racks.

The center was scheduled to start its summer program June 16.

Find the center on Facebook or go to www.gofundme.com and search for White Oaks Therapeutic to donate or for more information.