When the police commission a sketch of an alleged criminal, they usually get a pretty accurate portrait back. But recently one witness took it into their own hands to hand-draw a suspect in a robbery. The result? Let’s just say it was a bit abstract.
On January 30, 2018, a man allegedly pretended to be an employee to take money from a stand at a Lancaster, Pennsylvania, market before making off on foot, according to Crimewatch PA.
A witness to the theft provided a police officer with a very amateur sketch of the man and a vague description of his appearance. While it may seem like this rough sketch would have provided no clues to the robbery, it actually helped police in their pursuit of a suspect!
Despite being mocked by many, the sketch (and a physical description) of the unknown man led investigators to the suspect.
“While the sketch provided by the witness may have appeared amateurish and cartoonish, it, along with the distinctive physical descriptors, jogged the memory of at least one investigator to provide a potential suspect name,” Crimewatch PA explains. “The witness positively identified Hung Phuoc Nguyen M/44 as the suspect that impersonated the standholder and took the money at Central Market.”
Lancaster Online reports that when the police department released the sketch to the public, they made it clear that it was “not done in jest,” but in hopes someone would recognize the man.
It should be noted, the alleged thief has not yet been caught, but the police have a warrant out for his arrest.
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Footage and photos provided by KTLA Los Angeles
CORRECTION: February 8, 2018
A previous version of this story’s headline mentioned a police sketch of a thief. The drawing was provided by a witness, and the suspect has been neither caught nor charged as of this date.
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