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Deer River woman pleads guilty to stealing vehicle titles, fees

A 51-year-old Deer River woman pleaded guilty Monday to theft of more than $100,000 in public funds.

Sheila Marie Jerry entered the plea in Itasca County District Court and paid $112,734 in restitution. She will be sentenced at an April 30 court hearing.

According to the criminal complaint filed in the case, the Deer River clerk/treasure told an investigator that Jerry reported that she had taken thousands of dollars from her till over the course of five years as an employee of the state's Department of Motor Vehicle in Deer River.

Jerry told authorities that she obtained the title work and fees for new vehicles from a car dealer, and kept some of the paperwork and money for some titles.

In addition, Jerry said she had several titles in her vehicle or home. She said she stamped the title paper work but had not stamped the original copies that were later sent to the state, and kept the cash from the title transfers.

Law enforcement later obtained 10 vehicle titles from her vehicle and 63 from her home, and associated fees of more than $99,000, for vehicles sold between last March 31 and Sept. 29.