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Crookston woman tried to steal truck from FedEx employee who stopped to helped her, charges say

Trisha Berg

A Crookston woman has been accused of forcing her son to run away with her and trying to steal a FedEx truck from an employee who tried to help her get her vehicle unstuck from a ditch.

Trisha Mary Berg, 37, appeared Thursday in Grand Forks District Court after she was arrested Tuesday evening at a rural residence in Grand Forks County. That's where a FedEx driver was making a delivery when he stopped to help Berg, whose vehicle was stuck in a ditch, according to a criminal complaint.

The FedEx employee went into the residence to seek help and noticed Berg attempting to drive the delivery truck away from the scene, according to the complaint. However, the truck got stuck in the driveway, the complaint stated.

A boy who was identified as Berg's 9-year-old son was with the suspect and ran toward the house yelling, "Help me," according to the complaint. Witnesses said Berg was yelling and screaming.

The Grand Forks Sheriff's Office said Berg tried to force her son to run away with her, according to the complaint. He was not dressed appropriately for cold weather, as temperatures at the time of the incident reached zero degrees with a wind chill making it feel about negative 20 degrees, the complaint stated.

"Berg told (her son) to get into the FedEx truck with her in order to steal it," the complaint stated. "(He) attempted to tell Berg he didn't want to get into the FedEx truck but she forced him to get in anyway."

Deputies gave Berg several commands when they arrived at the scene, but she refused, according to the complaint. At times, she was “spinning the tires” of her vehicle as deputies told her to exit the car, according to the complaint.

Officers eventually were able to force her out of the vehicle, but she tried to pull away and get free.

"Deputies were forced to secure Berg in handcuffs and she resisted the entire time," deputies wrote in the complaint. "Berg was kicking and banging her head on the partition and rear passenger door/window."

The address of the incident was redacted from the complaint.

Berg faces three Class A misdemeanor charges—contributing to the deprivation or delinquency of a minor, physical obstruction of a government function and unauthorized use of a vehicle—as well as two Class B misdemeanor charges of driving under revocation and disorderly conduct-fighting behavior. A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to 360 days in prison and a $3,000 fine, while a Class B misdemeanor carries a maximum punishment of up to 30 days in prison and a $1,500 fine.

April Baumgarten

April Baumgarten joined the Grand Forks Herald May 19, 2015, and covers crime and education. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, where her family raises registered Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at Jamestown (N.D.) College, now known as University of Jamestown. During her time at the college, she worked as a reporter and editor-in-chief for the university's newspaper, The Collegian. Baumgarten previously worked for The Dickinson Press as a city government and energy reporter in 2011 before becoming the editor of the Hazen Star and Center Republican. She then returned to The Press as a news editor, where she helped lead an award-winning newsroom in recording the historical oil boom.

Have a story idea? Contact Baumgarten at 701-780-1248.

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