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Published June 20 2012

Police: Woman sells ex-boyfriend’s car for $80 after his assault arrest

MOORHEAD – A 23-year-old Fargo woman is accused of stealing her ex-boyfriend’s car and selling it while he was in the Clay County Jail for allegedly assaulting her.

Erica Lane Peterson was charged with felony theft Monday in Clay County District Court.

According to court records and Assistant County Attorney Jenny Samarzja:

The car’s owner, Sejdo Beganovic, 30, of Moorhead, was arrested May 28 on suspicion of domestic assault against Peterson.

Two days later, he called police from jail to report he had learned from a friend that Peterson had taken his 1991 Mercury Marquis and not returned it.

Peterson initially told police she had left the car on the street near the friend’s residence, but she later called an officer and said it had been crushed, the complaint says.

After being read her Miranda rights at the Law Enforcement Center, Peterson told police she was so upset about the domestic assault that she took Beganovic’s vehicle and sold it to Fargo Iron and Steel for $80, the complaint says. She said she tried to get the car back but was told it had been crushed.

However, a representative of Gerdau Fargo Metallics Raw Materials, formerly called Fargo Iron & Metal, told The Forum that the company did not buy the car from Peterson but rather from J.W. Auto of West Fargo.

The complaint says a representative from J.W. Auto told police that Peterson brought the car to him saying that her boyfriend gave it to her and she didn’t want it anymore.

Peterson told police she believed Beganovic, 30, owed her $9,000 in restitution, so she felt she could take the car, the complaint says.

Todd Harig of Gerdau said the company worked with police to identify the vehicle and released it to police custody when it was determined to be stolen.

A summons was issued for Peterson to appear in court July 10. Beganovic’s next court appearance is set for June 29. He faces two counts of domestic assault, two counts of theft and one count of fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle.