Trial begins Monday for Hastings police officer accused of stealing bottle openerThe trial for Rene Doffing, the Hastings police officer accused of stealing a corkscrew from a local restaurant, begins Monday.
By: Chad Richardson, The Hastings Star-Gazette
The trial for Rene Doffing, the Hastings police officer accused of stealing a corkscrew from a local restaurant, begins Monday.
Doffing allegedly stole the corkscrew in November 2010. Since then, there have been a number of delays in the case. At a pretrial hearing earlier this week, though, it was determined the trial would begin Monday.
Doffing has been on paid administrative assignment since the investigation concluded and charges were brought. The investigation was conducted by the Eagan Police Department.
Investigators learned Doffing was seen by an off-duty Dakota County deputy at the restaurant. The deputy observed Doffing reach across the bar and grab the bottle opener while the bartender turned his back.
The deputy alerted the bartender, who told the manager of the restaurant.
The manager approached Doffing, who was still in the restaurant at the time. He returned the opener.
If convicted of theft, Doffing would lose his peace officer's license and, ultimately, his job with the department. He needs that license to be employed at the city.
If acquitted, he would likely be back in his squad car in a matter of weeks.
The value of the opener is estimated at $10.