It’s not your average suspect sketch, but Riverside police are hoping a drawing will help them find a man who is suspected of robbing a caricature artist.
Police say the suspect approached the victim at the Festival of Lights event in downtown Riverside on Dec. 5 and asked him for a portrait of himself.
After the artist finished the caricature, the suspect grabbed a money bag from the victim, which contained about $500. The suspect then ran away, leaving the portrait behind.
Police say the caricature is of the suspect, but has exaggerated characteristics and features. The suspect is described as a black man in his early 20s, about 5 feet 1 inch tall, with black hair and mustache. He was last seen wearing a blue and red jacket, black pants and a red hat.
From The Washington Post (yes, national news):
“Crime victims sometimes make their own amateur sketches for police,” said Blaine Kern, a forensic scientist in nearby Highland, Calif., who specializes in crime scene investigation. “But [the Riverside incident] is the first time I’ve heard of police doing this,” he said of the department’s decision to lean on a caricature drawing to help track down a suspect.
Kern sized up the decision to release a caricature to spur tipsters as “quite ridiculous,” noting that police could likely generate a better description based on eyewitness accounts. He acknowledged the somewhat silly image might also boil down to resources: In California, theft of property worth less than $950 is usually charged as a misdemeanor, making it a lower priority than felony crimes.
The victim/caricaturist has not been identified,
though sources think he may look like this: