Police Investigate 11 Thefts from Employee’s Purses at Nine Area Schools

Montgomery County police officers are investing 11 thefts of purses that occurred in May and June from nine area schools.

Two of these thefts occurred in the city of Rockville and Montgomery County police detectives are working with the Rockville City Police Department regarding those incidents.

Investigators believe that multiple thefts were committed by the same suspect whose adjacent photograph is being released in hopes that someone may recognize him.

According to a news release, investigators have received reports from 11 female employees who work at nine different schools or child care centers whose purses/wallets were stolen from a school classroom or office by an unknown suspect. Police said the victims’ stolen credit cards were then used to purchase items at stores.

Police said 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, according to police. According to police, 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 local stores and use the victims’ credit cards to buy merchandise, police said.

The total amount of fraudulent charges placed on these victims’ credit cards has exceeded $13,000 and is still growing, police said.  The total amount of cash stolen from these eleven victims is approximately $500, according to police.

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 (see surveillance photos above and below).

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 – 5 pm – Rockville City Police Department

May 19 – Little People Daycare, 12720 Royal Carriage Drive, Germantown, approximately 3 p.m.

June 1 – Georgetown Hill Early School, 850 Nelson Street, Rockville, approximately 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Rockville City Police Department

June 8 – Rock Creek Forest Elementary School, 8330 Grubb Road, Silver Spring, between approximately 5:45 p.m. – 6 p.m.

June 9 – Montgomery Child Care – Garrett Park, 4806 Oxford Street, Garrett Park, between approximately 11 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. – Note: Two victims at this school

June 14 – Somerset Elementary School, 5811 Warwick Place, Chevy Chase, between approximately 1:40 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.

June 19 – Bethesda Elementary School, 7600 Arlington Road, Bethesda, between 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. – NOTE: Two victims at this school

June 21 – Silver Spring International Middle School, 313 Wayne Avenue, Silver Spring, between 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.

June 29 – Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy, 13300 Arctic Avenue, Rockville

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