Crime & Courts

Catholic pastor under Wichita diocese arrested, accused of stealing church money

If you witness a crime, here’s what to do

Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity. (Nicole L. Cvetnic / McClatchy)
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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity. (Nicole L. Cvetnic / McClatchy)

A Catholic priest was arrested Thursday on suspicion of stealing about $14,000 from his Kansas church.

Juan Gregorio Garza-Gonzalez, 51, of Wichita, was arrested by the Reno County Sheriff’s Office on allegations that he stole about $14,000 that was found missing from Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in South Hutchinson.

The sheriff’s office said in a news release that Father Juan Garza has been the pastor at the church since June 2018 and became the focus of the investigation after the Catholic Diocese of Wichita approached law enforcement about questionable finances.

The priest was released on a $2,500 own recognizance bond, the sheriff’s office said.

Editor’s note: Rev. Garza is still listed on the Catholic Diocese of Wichita website. An earlier version of this story was incorrect.

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