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North Dakota sheriff's deputy's car stolen

Derek Fuglem

GRAND FORKS -- New Steele County Sheriff's Deputy Jay Dugan perhaps couldn't have proved the need for his services any better in his first week on the job than to become a victim himself of crime in the county he now serves.

Dugan began Dec. 1 as a new joint deputy with Steele and Griggs counties, Steele County Sheriff Wayne Beckman said.

Dugan and his wife, Jessica, a reporter for WDAZ-TV in Grand Forks, and their young children, moved recently to a rural home north of Sharon, N.D., about 60 miles southwest of Grand Forks.

About midnight Saturday, Deputy Dugan was in his new home when his big Ford 350 "dually" pickup truck was stolen.

Sheriff Beckman said Derek Fuglem, 22, of rural Northwood, N.D., had driven his car into a ditch nearby, walked into Dugan's yard and drove off in his truck.

Dugan didn't hear or see it happen.

Meanwhile, a neighbor already had called the sheriff's department because Fuglem's four partying friends had left the ditched car, too, and walked to the neighbor's to use the telephone to call for help.

Steele County Deputy Justin Hoag was dispatched to the neighbor's home.

"He sees Jay's pickup going down the road," Beckman said. "He realizes it's stolen because he knows it ain't Jay driving. That's when the chase started. He chased him five, six miles. Fuglem totaled out the pickup, got out on foot and started running. The deputy caught him."

Fuglem will face charges of burglary, theft of a motor vehicle, fleeing a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest and possession of drug paraphernalia, Beckman said.

One of Fuglem's four friends, Josh Stroh, 22, of Larimore, N.D., who waited in the neighbor's yard for friends to help pull out Fuglem's car, was charged with disorderly conduct, Beckman said. Stroh is in the Traill County jail under a $400 cash bond.

Fuglem has several criminal convictions, including for marijuana possession in West Fargo and in Grand Forks in 2006, as well as a fleeing police charge in Grafton, N.D., last year.

He also is in the Traill County jail under a $10,000 cash bond, Beckman said. His next court appearance is Dec. 30. Because he's not cooperating much, jail officials have not yet obtained fingerprints or a mug shot of him, a dispatcher in Traill County said Wednesday. The above mug shot is from when he was incarcerated in Grand Forks County.

With Dugan added, Beckman now has 2.5 deputies plus himself for Steele County. Dugan also works jointly for the neighboring Griggs County Sheriff's Department.