Police in Ohio finally convicted the right man for several robberies in the area by a reportedly black suspect. The only problem: the real thief was white.
For weeks a white robber’s disguise of a black man was so lifelike that several people called into police to finger a black man who looked like the man in disguise. The man was later arrested and released.
Even the mother of the wrongly accused man thought it might be her son shown on video surveillance cameras robbing four banks, a credit union and a pharmacy, according to a story in the Daily Mail.
Instead the man doing the crimes was identified as 30-year-old Conrad Zdzierak, who pled guilty in a Hamilton County Court in December in a plea deal with prosecutors.
“Conrad apologizes to everyone, is sorry for any harm he has caused and accepts responsibility for his actions,” his lawyer Christopher McDowell said.
Zdzierak purchased the silicone mask from a California-based costume company. The mask is so lifelike it behaves like muscle and skin when worn.
Police say that Zdzierak stole a total of $15,000 in the robberies. Zdzierak was later sentenced to 25 years in prison.
“After his arrest, police found dozens of notes on his computer between him and a mask company, along with notes about what went wrong during the robberies and how he could improve by doing things like drinking less coffee because it made him tense,” Scripps Media reported.
Police never disclosed the name of the wrongly accused man.