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Former Deer River employee accused of stealing nearly $100,000

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news Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

A former Deer River city employee is accused of stealing approximately $100,000 while working as the city's deputy motor vehicle clerk.

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Sheila Marie Jerry, 50, of Deer River, is charged with one count of felony theft. She had been the city's deputy motor vehicle clerk for 16 years.

According to the criminal complaint, Jerry told investigators in fall 2011 that she had stolen money for the past five years by keeping the paperwork and fees for titles on new automobiles. She stamped the title paperwork but not the original copies later sent to the state, keeping the cash from the title transfer.

"Jerry stated that she would eventually send in the title to the State and then keep back a couple more titles and keep the cash from those title transfers," the complaint said.

The theft ended when another woman noticed discrepancies in Deer River paperwork. The woman confronted Jerry, who admitted stealing money, the complaint said. Officials searched Jerry's motor vehicle and residence, recovering 73 vehicle titles and associated fees valued at $99,671.

Jerry is free on conditions. Her next court appearance is scheduled for March 19.

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