Why Are Police Using a Caricature to Look for a Robbery Suspect?

A caricature artist turned this portrait to police after he said the subject sat for the drawing then robbed him.
A caricature artist turned this portrait to police after he said the subject sat for the drawing then robbed him.
(Riverside Police Department)

Do you recognize this man?

It may not be a typical police sketch but it seems to be fitting considering this suspect’s alleged crime: robbing a caricature artist after sitting for a portrait.

This allegedly happened Tuesday during the Festival of Lights holiday event in Riverside, California. The man allegedly approached the artist just before midnight and asked to have his picture drawn. He sat for the drawing, but once the artist was finished, he allegedly grabbed the artist’s money bag and fled, leaving the portrait behind.

The artist said the bag contained about $500 in cash.

Police quickly took to social media to share the portrait with hopes that anyone who recognizes the man will come forward — and of course, the uncharacteristic sketch quickly drew attention.

“If his booking photo doesn’t look identical to this, I will be disappointed,” one Facebook commenter said.

“The caricature is of the suspect, but of course, has exaggerated characteristics and features,” police emphasized, going on to describe the suspect as a black male adult in his early 20s, about 5 feet, 1 inch with average build. He had black hair and a mustache, and was last seen wearing a blue and red jacket, white shirt, black pants and red hat.

Anyone with more information is encouraged to contact Detective Jeff Putnam at jputnam@riversideca.gov.

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