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Scam Alert: Suspects Arrested for Buying Vehicles Advertised Online with Fraudulent Cashier’s Checks; Additional Victims a Concern

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Detectives from the 4th District have arrested Papa Sissoko, age 25, of Weeping Willow Court in Silver Spring, and Alyssa Hernandez, age 24, of Bakersfield Court in Silver Spring, with vehicle theft and forgery after the two suspects used fraudulent cashier’s checks to purchase vehicles that were advertised for sale online.  MCP investigators are coordinating with other law enforcement agencies in the DC area as these suspects have perpetrated this scam in other jurisdictions.  Detectives believe there may be additional victims of this fraud who have not reported the incidents to police.

The investigation began on April 8 when a victim reported the fraud to the Police Department.  The victim explained that Sissoko, who called himself “David”, responded to the victim’s Facebook marketplace listing for a Mercedes 300 that was for sale in Burtonsville.  Sissoko as “David” and Hernandez as “Cendy Cruz”, drove to the victim’s home.  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.  When the seller went to the check-issuing bank, he was told the cashier’s check was fraudulent.  The victim provided detectives with a description of the suspects as well as home video surveillance of the two suspects.


On April 22, detectives were informed of another fraud case involving these two suspects.  The victim explained that on April 19, Sissoko, who called himself “Michael Dunham”, responded to a Craigslist ad selling a Mercedes ML 500 SUV in Silver Spring and said that he was interested in buying it.  The next day, Sissoko as “Michael” and Hernandez as “Cendy Cruz” met the victim at a shopping center parking lot in Silver Spring.  Sissoko and Hernandez gave the victim a fraudulent cashier’s check and drove off in the vehicle.  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.


On May 4, a 4th District detective was driving his unmarked police vehicle in the Aspen Hill area and observed a vehicle that 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.  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.


The two suspects were transported to the Central Processing Unit and were released on bond.  


Anyone who believes that he/she is a victim of these suspects’ fraud is asked to call the 4th District Investigative Section at 240-773-5530.

Papa SissokoPapa Sissoko (Original Image)

Alyssa Hernandez Alyssa Hernandez (Original Image)

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Release ID: 21-183
Media Contact: Sergeant Rebecca Innocenti 
Categories: scam , theft , vehicle-theft