MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 51-year-old Deer River woman pleaded guilty Monday in Itasca County Court to theft charges after she was accused of stealing about $100,000 from the Deer River Department of Motor Vehicle office.
Sheila Marie Jerry was charged with felony theft on Jan. 31 in connection with the incidents, which took place between March and September of 2011. Jerry pleaded guilty to the charge on Monday and provided more than $112,000 in restitution to the court.
According to a criminal complaint, the treasurer for the City of Deer River contacted police when Jerry told him that she had taken thousands of dollars from her till over a five-year period while she was employed at the DMV. Deer River is located north and west of Grand Rapids.
Jerry, when interviewed by police, said she had worked at the DMV for 16 years and that she had been stealing money from there for five years. She would obtain title work and association fees for new vehicles from a car dealer and would keep the paperwork and fees for some titles, the complaint states.
Jerry said she got several titles per week and took between $60,000 and $70,000 over a five-year period. She said she would stamp the title paperwork, but not the original copies that are sent to the state and would keep the money from the title transfer. Jerry said she took money about twice a week and could’ve stolen about $400 a week.
An investigator collected evidence from Jerry’s car, which had 10 titles and association fees valued at more than $10,000 for cars sold between Aug. 17 and Sept. 29, 2011. The same investigator obtained 63 vehicle titles with associated fees valued at more than $89,000 from Jerry’s home for cars cold from March 31 to Sept. 27, 2011.
An official at the DMV confronted Jerry about it after conducting an audit and noting that 100 license plates were not accounted for.
Jerry is set to be sentenced for the crime on April 30.