MOCO Detectives investigate 11 purse thefts from schools in the county
MONTGOMERY CO – MCPD are investigating 11 thefts of female employees’ purses from nine area schools that occurred in May and June. Two of these thefts occurred in Rockville City and MCPD detectives are working with the Rockville City Police Department regarding those incidents. Investigators believe that multiple thefts were committed by the same suspect whose photograph is being released today in hopes that someone recognizes him.
Investigators have received reports from 11 female employees who work at nine different schools/child care centers located in the County whose purses/wallets were stolen from a school classroom or office by an unknown suspect(s). The victims’ stolen credit cards were then used to purchase items at stores.
During each of these thefts the suspect located an unattended classroom/office, found the employee’s purse/bag, and stole the entire purse or wallet or removed the victim’s cash and credit cards and left the purse/wallet. At three of the schools the suspect was approached by personnel who inquired about his purpose in the school. The suspect provided a brief response like he was with the cleaning staff or was a member of camp staff and then would quickly leave the area. The suspect would then go to stores in the County, to include Target, Safeway, Best Buy, and Giant, and use the victims’ credit cards to buy merchandise.
The total amount of fraudulent charges placed on these victims’ credit cards has exceeded $13,000 and is growing. (Investigators have not received final amounts for some of these fraudulent purchases so this amount will increase). The total amount of cash stolen from these eleven victims is approximately $500.
Surveillance photographs of a suspect who used four of the victims’ credit cards at stores (from incidents in Germantown, Bethesda, and Silver Spring) were obtained by detectives and are being released to the public.
These thefts remain under investigation. Anyone with information about this suspect or these thefts is asked to contact 2nd District detectives at 240-773-6710. For those who wish to remain anonymous, Crime Solvers of Montgomery County is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for any information that leads to the arrest of the unknown suspect. Tipsters can call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).
Thefts of Purses/Wallets from Schools:
May 9 – Twinbrook Elementary School, 5911 Ridgway Avenue, Rockville, approximately 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm – Rockville City Police Department
May 19 – Little People Daycare, 12720 Royal Carriage Drive, Germantown, approximately 3:00 p.m.
June 1 – Georgetown Hill Early School, 850 Nelson Street, Rockville, approximately 9:00 am to 1:00 pm – Rockville City Police Department
June 8 – Rock Creek Forest Elementary School, 8330 Grubb Road, Silver Spring, between approximately 5:45 pm – 6:00 pm
June 9 – Montgomery Child Care – Garrett Park, 4806 Oxford Street, Garrett Park, between approximately 11:00 am and 4:30 pm – Note: Two victims at this school
June 14 – Somerset Elementary School, 5811 Warwick Place, Chevy Chase, between approximately 1:40 pm and 3:00 pm
June 19 – Bethesda Elementary School, 7600 Arlington Road, Bethesda, between 10:30 am and 3:00 pm – NOTE: Two victims at this school
June 21 – Silver Spring International Middle School, 313 Wayne Avenue, Silver Spring, between 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm
June 29 – Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy, 13300 Arctic Avenue, Rockville