County detectives from the 4th District have arrested two people in a scam involving purchasing cars with fraudulent cashier’s checks, and believe that there may be more victims.
Papa Sissoko, age 25, of Weeping Willow Court, and Alyssa Hernandez, age 24, of Bakersfield Court, both of Aspen Hill, have been charged with vehicle theft and forgery in the case.
The initial investigation began April 8. A victim who had listed a Mercedes 300 for sale in Facebook marketplace reported that Sissoko, using the name “David,” responded to the ad at the victim’s home in Burtonsville with Hernandez, who used the name “Cendy Cruz.”
The two presented the victim with a cashier’s check for the purchase price of the vehicle and “Cendy Cruz” provided her driver’s license as proof of identification. The two drove from the house in the Mercedes,” according to a press release.
The victim discovered the scam when presenting the check to the issuing bank, only to be told it was fraudulent.
Investigators learned of a similar case on April 22. In this case, Sissoko, who called himself “Michael Dunham,” responded on April 19 to a Craigslist ad selling a Mercedes ML 500 SUV in Silver Spring and expressed interest in buying it.
He and Hernandez, as “Cendy Cruz,” met the victim the next day at a shopping center parking lot in Silver Spring. The victim received a fraudulent check and the two drove off with the car.
“The victim was able to provide detectives with a social media post from another potential victim who provided the description and the tag number of the suspects’ vehicle,” according to the release.
The two were arrested on May 4 in Aspen Hill after an officer in an unmarked cruiser spotted what appeared to match the description of Sissoko and Hernandez’ vehicle.
“Additional officers responded to the area and Sissoko and Hernandez were seen entering and driving away in the vehicle,” the release continued. “Officers conducted a traffic stop and determined that both the vehicle and tag had been reported stolen from other jurisdictions. Sissoko and Hernandez were arrested.”
County police have been working with other law enforcement agencies in the area, as it appears the suspects have worked the scam in other jurisdictions, and there are victims who may not have reported the crimes.
Anyone who thinks that they are a victim of these suspects’ fraud should call the 4th District Investigative Section at 240.773.5530.
MCPD graphic and photos