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Charges: Video shows Ramsey County sergeant stealing cash during bedroom search

The 45-year-old is facing charges including misconduct in public office.
Ramsey county sheriff's office

A motion-activated camera obtained footage showing a Ramsey County sheriff's deputy allegedly stealing cash and several other items during the execution of a search warrant.

Jason Degerstrom, 45, has been charged with misconduct by a public officer and two counts of theft in connection with the incident on March 18 at 661 Geranium Street East in St. Paul.

According to the charges, residents of the home searched by the Ramsey County Violent Crimes Enforcement Team (VCET) claimed several items and cash had been taken during the search, but not inventoried.

Hennepin County Sheriff's investigators assigned to the case learned that one of the residents had a motion-activated camera in her bedroom that was set off when the officers carried out the search warrant.

She reported that a cellphone charger, a baseball rookie card, a bag of silver half-dollars, and a purse containing around $500 was taken from her room.

The camera allegedly showed Degerstrom searching the woman's room for an extended period of time, taking the phone charger and stuffing it in his pocket.

He also placed the purse on a nightstand before returning to it, "at which point you can hear the zipper on the purse being pulled, the rustling of paper consistent with money being folded, and then Defendant can be seen stuffing something into his pocket again."

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The purse contained around $1,000, but was inventoried as having only $552 inside.

Degerstrom initially denied taking anything from the property that wasn't inventoried, but was then shown the video, and admitted to taking the phone cord, and said it was "stupid."

He denied however taking the money or anything else.

Degerstrom had been placed on administrative leave on Apr. 2, and in a statement on Tuesday the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office said the contents of the charges against him are "troubling and will not be tolerated by this administration."

"We will continue to demand that our staff act within the law and uphold the trust placed in us by the community," it added.

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