This Terrible Sketch Actually Helped Cops ID a Suspect

Police say 'cartoonish' drawing was a big help
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 9, 2018 3:35 AM CST
The sketch police released to the public Tuesday.   (Lancaster Police)
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(Newser) – It's being called the "world's worst police sketch"—but it did the job. Police in Pennsylvania were able to identify a theft suspect with the help of a cartoonish sketch provided by a witness, the BBC reports. Lancaster police say the sketch and the victim's description helped officers recognize 44-year-old Hung Phuoc Nguyen. He's accused of stealing money from a farmers market by pretending to be an employee. The victim identified Nguyen after he was shown a booking photo, though police have been unable to locate the suspect.

The sketch was released to the public Tuesday. "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," police said in a statement, per Lancaster Online. "This was not done in jest," they added. A police spokesman tells the Washington Post that people like the witness who provided the sketch help make their job easier and "more enjoyable," but they're not planning to employ the witness as a sketch artist. (An 11-year-old's "stick figure" drawing helped police in Connecticut catch a burglar.)

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