Kettle stolen from Davenport’s Great River Brewery recovered

Bad news: A kettle was stolen from Great River Brewery.

Good news: It was recovered and everything is still on track for the brewing company to return to downtown Davenport.

Construction on Great River Brewery, 332 E. 2nd Street, has been ongoing for months following business’ closure after the 2019 flood. But this weekend, it faced a minor setback.

Davenport police officers responded Saturday morning to the brewery where the kettle’s owner told them someone took it out of the parking lot where he stored it, according to court records. During that interview, the owner told police the kettle was worth between $14,000 and $20,000.







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A kettle for brewing beer was stolen out of a lot near Great River Brewery in downtown Davenport on Friday, March 8. The kettle was later recovered at a scrap yard.




The kettle was supposed to go into Great River but had not made it inside the building yet. Saturday morning crews discovered the theft and alerted police, brewery partner Scott Florence said.

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Police got right to work and soon discovered the “kettle kaper” was caught on camera. It had been recorded by security footage from The Last Picture House across the street. 







Russell D. Figley

Russell D. Figley




Three men, Russell D. Figley, 60; Matthew D. Figley, 30; and James A. Crafton, 53, all of Davenport, are facing charges on allegations they were the ones that carried off the kettle, according to Scott County court documents. The Figleys have the same address but the court records do not otherwise specify their relationship.







Matthew D. Figley

Matthew D. Figley




Authorities have charged all three with first-degree theft and first-degree criminal mischief. Crafton also faces a charge of driving under suspension. Court records did not identify the kettle’s owner.

Security footage showed the suspects arriving in the parking lot just before 4 p.m. on Friday. One of them gets out of a vehicle, loads the kettle into a pickup truck and is off the lot by 4:11 p.m.

Authorities used largely the same narrative in the arrest affidavits for all three men. The charges against Crafton, however, specify him as the alleged driver of the Chevrolet Silverado used in the theft. He is suspended from driving in Iowa indefinitely. 







James A. Crafton

James A. Crafton




About 20 minutes later, the stolen kettle arrived at Midwest Recyclers, on S. Howell St., according to court records. Midwest staff told investigators that the vehicle with the kettle arrived at the scrap yard close to 4:30 p.m. 

Before paying for the kettle, the staff cut it open to ensure it was empty, court records state. Repairing that damage is expected to cost about $10,000. Once police arrived at Midwest to investigate, staff were able to provide identifying information about the seller, and also had security camera footage to share.







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Great River Brewery, 332 E. 2nd Street in downtown Davenport, has been under construction for months. Last week the “kettle kaper” struck when a kettle, used for brewing beer, was stolen out of an adjacent lot. It was later recovered.



Gretchen Teske



Sunday, Davenport Police contacted Florence at Great River to let him know the kettle had been found. It is now being “patched up” before making its way back to the brewery.

Monday, police arrived at the Figley residence at about 8:45 a.m. There, officers found one of the vehicles they suspect was used in the theft and met at least one of the Figleys, who, after being Mirandized, admitted to taking the kettle, records state.

Davenport officers brought Russell Figley to the Scott County Jail at about 9:20 a.m. on Monday, according to the jail website. They booked Matthew Figley about 20 minutes later.

The affidavits for Crafton do not specify the circumstances of his arrest. He was booked into the Scott County Jail around 7 p.m. Thursday.

Russell and Matthew Figley remained in the Scott County Jail Tuesday, each held on a $10,000 bond, the jail website states. Both have their next court hearing scheduled for March 22, court records state.







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Construction on Great River Brewery in downtown Davenport has been ongoing for months. Crews were using a lot across the street for storage of equipment and supplies. Friday, March 8, a kettle for brewing beer was stolen from the lot. It was later recovered.



Gretchen Teske



Those that frequented Great River prior to its closing in 2019 will have a whole new layout to look forward to. The brewing operations will be in the section of the building directly across from The Half Nelson. The larger space will allow for more tanks, and more beer.

In the back of the building is the space where Florence will set up his “Streets of Italy project” serving pizza, with an emphasis on pick-up and take out.

A mezzanine level inside the building will add more seating and extend into an outdoor deck. The large garage doors outside the patio is where the bar will be set up, with room for more tables and chairs.

Connor Wood of the Quad-City Times/Dispatch-Argus contributed to this report.

A beer for a king who was never crowned. In the tradition of coronation beers, Edward VIII’s ale was made in time for his coronation scheduled for 12 May 1937. But his abdication five months before the event prevented the beer from being sold. Rediscovered in the cellar of Greene King Brewery in 2011, a batch of the abandoned ale is now going to be put up for auction.




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