February 16, 2019

This witness-drawn facial composite helped police arrest a suspect

09 February 2018, 06:13 | Randall Craig

Witness sketch proves useful, helps police ID market theft suspect: police

Unusual drawing helps police identify theft suspect

A suspect has been identified as the suspect in connection with a crime in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, thanks in part to the help of a simple, hand-drawn sketch provided by a witness.

Lancaster police say the suspect pretended to be an employee before stealing an undisclosed amount in cash from a stand inside Central Market Feb. 6. But police defended their decision to release the drawing.

The witness apparently drew an "amateurish and cartoonish" sketch of the suspect, who was described as being between 30 to 40 years old, 5 feet 4 inches tall, of petite build and "possibly South American or Asian", according to the Lancaster City Bureau of Police.

The cartoon-style drawing - compared by some online to a kids drawing - was then posted to the Lancaster Police Facebook page as they appealed for the public's help with a note that it wasn't a joke.

The brazen thief fled before officers arrived, but a witness was able to provide a sketch of the man to authorities.

Since the sketch was originally picked up by Lancaster Online, social media users have had a field day mocking the cartoonish sketch, with many commenters offering humorous theories about the identity of the suspect.

Lancaster, Pennsylvania police released the picture on Tuesday alongside a detailed description of the man in question.

Another said "That guy looks just like my roommate", before photoshopping the sketch with his roomate's picture. "As much as I laughed at the sketch, it wasn't entirely that far off", one admitted. One user even quipped, "That guy does look pretty sketchy". "Hahahahaha! The album was titled, 'we sing, we dance, we STEAL things'". The sketch and the "distinctive" description of the man "jogged the memory of at least one investigator" who provided a suspect name, police said.

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