Mocked witness sketch leads to identification of suspect

A US police department has had the last laugh after it was mocked for using a witness' basic drawing to try and track down a suspected thief.

Lancaster Police were handed the sketch after a man allegedly stole cash from a Central Market in Pennsylvania on January 30 when pretending to be an employee.

But after posting it online in a bid to catch the alleged thief, they were ridiculed for its cartoon style appearance.

Yet remarkably the drawing has led to the culprit being identified - and he looks strikingly similar to the simple sketch.

Police were handed this hand-drawn sketch of the alleged thief. Source: Lancaster Police
Remarkably the sketch led to the identification of Hung Phuoc Nguyen who shares a striking resemblence to the drawing. Source: Lancaster Police

Hung Phuoc Nguyen, 44, has been charged with two counts of theft and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.

Lancaster Police said their sole intention when they shared the image was to find the alleged theft and it was "not done in jest".

"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," a spokesperson said.