Woman faces charges in theft of priest’s wallet

Woman faces charges in theft of priest’s wallet

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RACINE — A 40-year-old Milwaukee woman arrested in October made her initial appearance in circuit court on Thursday for allegedly using the credit card of a local Roman Catholic priest.

Amanda McGettrick faces six counts of felony ID theft as a party to the crime. If she is convicted of all six charges, she faces a maximum penalty of 36 years in prison or a $60,000 fine, or both. 

The criminal complaint alleges that she was one of four people who stole credit cards, bank cards, and gift cards throughout southeastern Wisconsin. Racine County prosecutors accuse her of using the priest’s stolen credit card to make purchases in Milwaukee County. 

Her job, according to the complaint, was to use cards which had been stolen by other members of the ring. McGettrick allegedly used the priest’s cards to buy gas and several hundred dollars’ worth of gift cards, and one of her companions bought groceries, the complaint said.

The priest left his wallet in a room at St. Rita’s Catholic Church, 4423 Douglas Ave., while he donated blood and later found the wallet missing. A day care worker told police she saw a man leaving through a side door of the church, and she said the man was not someone she had seen before, the complaint said. 

McGettrick was arrested after a West Allis police detective recognized a surveillance picture of her and contacted Caledonia police. Offiicials said she cooperated with investigators following her arrest.

In court on Thursday Assitant District Attorney Corinne Balter asked for a $1,000 cash bond. Attorney Sean Brown of the Public Defender’s Office requested a signature bond. McGettrick faces sentencing on similar charges in Milwaukee County, he said, and he said he may challenge the validity of the Racine County case because much of the activity seems to have occurred outside the county. 

Online court records say McGettrick pleaded guilty in Milwaukee County on Jan. 19 to three counts of felony ID theft. Sentencing is set for March 1. 

Court Commissioner John Bjelajac agreed with the request for a signature bond and set it at $5,000. 

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