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Police Charge Germantown Man for String of School Purse Thefts After a Tip From the Public

A Germantown man has been charged in connection with a string of thefts from purses at schools from throughout Montgomery County.

Montgomery County Police have charged, Nakym Sheffield, 39 of Circle Gate Drive in Germantown committing 11 thefts of female employees’ purses from nine area schools dating back to May 9.

During each of these thefts police say that Sheffield located an unattended classroom or office, found the employee’s purse or bag, and stole the entire purse or wallet or removed the victim’s cash and credit cards and left the purse or wallet. At three of the schools Sheffield 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.

Sheffield 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.

Germantown Pulse originally reported on the rash of thefts from Montgomery County schools and day care centers on July 7 when MCPD released the photos of the suspect walking out of retail stores after using the stolen credit cards. Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Department – 2nd District Investigative Section received a tip which led to the identification of Sheffield as the suspect. Detectives obtained an arrest warrant for Sheffield and arrested him at his home on July 15.

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 11 victims is approximately $500.

Sheffield was transported to the Central Processing Unit where he was charged with multiple counts of credit card fraud related offenses. According to Maryland Case Search, Sheffield is charged with 30 different crimes, 10 counts of Stealing Another’s Credit Card, 10 counts of Using Another’s Credit Card For a Charge Larger Than $1,000, and 10 counts of Using or Disclosing Another’s Credit Card Number.

Sheffield is no stranger to Montgomery County Police. According to Maryland Case Search records, Sheffield has been arrested on charges ranging from carrying a handgun to burglary, and auto theft and simple theft at least five times since 1997. He was released after posting a $3,000 bond on July 15.

Police believe the first of Sheffield’s school-related theft occurred on May 9 at Twinbrook Elementary School in Rockville. Ten days later, the suspect or suspects struck again in Germantown. This time at Little People Daycare on Royal Carriage Drive.

The thefts picked up steam in June, with a purse stolen from Georgetown Hill Early School in Rockville on June 1. On June 8, Sheffield struck again at Rock Creek Forest Elementary School in Silver Spring. The following day, June 9, it is believed he stole two purses from Montgomery Child Care in Garrett Park.

On June 14, Somerset Elementary School in Chevy Chase was struck. Five days later, on June 19 an employee at Bethesda Elementary School in Bethesda reported a theft. Two days later, on June 21, a theft was reported at Silver Spring International Middle School. Finally, on June 29, another theft was reported at the Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy in Rockville.

This investigation is ongoing in regard to open events in this series of thefts.

Photos courtesy MCPD.

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