Amateur sketch from witness helps police identify theft suspect

Unusual drawing helps police identify theft suspect

Unusual drawing helps police identify theft suspect

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 childlike sketch was released by Lancaster City Police alongside a detailed description of suspect, described as a male aged between 30-40 years old, around 5 foot 4 inches tall, of petite build and believed to be of South American or Asian descent.

Police in Pennsylvania have successfully identified a suspected thief and issued a warrant for his arrest after a witness knocked up a hand-drawn sketch of what he looked like.

It all started when a man pretending to be an employee took cash from an unattended stand inside Lancaster's Central Market at about 1:20 p.m. on January 30, Lancaster City police said.

Hung Phouc Nguyen was identified, in part, thanks to the sketch drawn by a witness.

"We released all of those details together in our Police log in the hope that someone recognizes the suspect", Lancaster Police wrote in a Facebook post on February 6.

"This was not done in jest". Even though the picture is black and white and nearly cartoony, the police department said on Facebook that it "jogged the memory" of their investigators and gave them an idea of who to look for.

Another said "That guy looks just like my roommate", before photoshopping the sketch with his roomate's picture.

After the initial release, some Investigators and veteran Officers recognized the physical description and modus operandi for the theft suspect.

His mugshot was then included in a photo line-up and shown to the eyewitness, who immediately identified him.

Police are now searching for the 44-year-old suspect on two counts of theft. "As much as I laughed at the sketch, it wasn't entirely that far off", one admitted.

A version of this story originally appeared on the New York Post.

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