SALEM — A baby sitter who was put on probation for stealing nearly $34,000 in jewelry from a Manchester family was back in front of a judge on a shoplifting charge this week.
It turns out that just hours after pleading guilty to stealing from families in Manchester and Peabody, Melissa Shaktman, 24, of Salem was seen swiping items from a store in the Liberty Tree Mall in Danvers, where she had gone to apply for a job.
“I have a feeling Miss Shaktman may have some undiagnosed things going on,” said her attorney, Leslie Salter, during a hearing Tuesday in Salem District Court to determine whether Shaktman’s probation would be revoked as a result of the new arrest.
Shaktman, who had posted her profile on the website Sittercity.com, was charged with stealing $34,000 worth of jewelry from a Manchester home where she had been hired to work as a nanny last fall.
The missing items included a platinum, diamond and ruby necklace; diamond earrings; and a diamond bracelet, which the owner discovered missing as she dressed for a holiday party last December.
The woman had already fired Shaktman by that point, and Shaktman ended up working for a family in Peabody. The Peabody family later discovered that electronics and $8,000 worth of jewelry were missing from their home.
On Sept. 6, Shaktman admitted to stealing from both families.
She went first to Salem District Court, to answer to the Manchester charges, then to Peabody District Court to admit to the charges in that city, according to court records.
She received three years of probation in both cases, with conditions that included repaying nearly $3,000 in restitution, the amount of the victims’ insurance deductibles, as well as holding down a job.
From Peabody, she headed straight to Danvers and the Liberty Tree Mall, police believe.
After she asked for a job application at Claire’s, a store that sells inexpensive women’s accessories and jewelry, employees there saw her taking items.
A warrant was issued, and after Shaktman appeared in court Sept. 11, she was sent to MCI-Framingham to await her probation violation hearing.
“She’s had a very difficult time in jail,” said her lawyer, pointing to eyeglasses that were broken during a fight.
Salter called the two weeks behind bars “an extreme wake-up call” for his client.
Shaktman’s probation officer, Joann Lam, asked a judge to revoke Shaktman’s probation and send her to jail for at least 90 days, but the judge disagreed.
“Can you tell me about your experience there?” Judge Robert Brennan asked. “It was pretty bad?”
“I don’t want to go back,” Shaktman said.
Brennan said that while he initially wanted to impose a jail term, he thought the two weeks Shaktman spent at Framingham would be punishment enough — at least at this point.
“I do accept that Miss Shaktman has gotten a very good taste of Framingham and will do what she has to do to keep from going back there,” Brennan said.
He added two new conditions to her probation Tuesday, requiring her to undergo a mental health evaluation and to take part in a treatment program.
He warned Shaktman that if she gets into trouble again, her probation will be revoked.
The new larceny charges are still pending.
Shaktman will still have to answer to a violation of probation complaint in Peabody, as well.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, at email@example.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.