EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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January 8, 2013

Former nanny who stole jewelry jailed on probation violation

DANVERS — A former nanny who admitted stealing nearly $40,000 in jewelry and other valuables from two North Shore families last year yesterday admitted to violating her probation for a second time.

Salem, Mass. District Court Judge Michael Lauranzano faced a dilemma: jail Melissa Shaktman for six months for the probation violation, as well as new charges she also admitted to yesterday, or keep her on the lengthy probation he imposed last year, so that she will have to continue paying restitution.

In the end, Lauranzano did both, sentencing Shaktman, 24, of Salem to six months in her newest case, which stems from a struggle with police last December while they were arresting her boyfriend, as well as a concurrent six months for one of her older cases, and keeping her on probation in the theft cases until September 2015.

Shaktman was charged last year after two families, one in Manchester-by-the-Sea and the other in Peabody, reported to police that after hiring her as a nanny or baby sitter off the website Sittercity, they discovered that thousands of dollars in valuables were missing.

The Manchester woman who had hired Shaktman discovered while dressing for a holiday party that more than $30,000 worth of jewelry was missing from a safe in her home; the Peabody family that hired her after she was fired in Manchester lost around $8,000 in jewelry and electronics, which Shaktman pawned.

She and her lawyer at the time pleaded for mercy, telling a judge that she was receiving treatment for anxiety. She received probation.

On the same day she pleaded guilty to both cases last September, she was caught by police shoplifting at the Liberty Tree Mall, prosecutor Patrick Collins reminded the judge.

During a probation violation hearing last fall, another attorney argued that the nearly two weeks she’d spent at MCI-Framingham awaiting the hearing had been a “wake-up” call. She was placed back on probation.

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