Sketch from St. Albans Police Department
UPDATE 8/28/12 @ 6:40 p.m.
ST. ALBANS, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Police in St. Albans are using a smart phone application to produce a sketch of a suspect to solve crime.
Officers say they've been dealing with a slew of car break-ins and daytime home burglaries.
A bandit in St. Albans broke into a home, stealing jewelry and a loaded gun Tuesday night. Now police need your help catching a criminal.
A family came home and nearly missed running into an unexpected visitor. Sherry Marcum says she and her kids were away from their home on Carson Street for only a few minutes.
They live next to busy MacCorkle Avenue and a public car wash. Marcum says a burglar busted in the back window by using a brick. A neighbor heard the breaking glass and saw the man and immediately called police.
"I'd have so much more peace of mind if we could just get him caught," victim Sherry Marcum said. "Get him some help, get him off the streets."
Police wasted no time and got a description and produced a rough sketch of the suspect within minutes, using their fingertips. A new application for smart phones called FlashFace helps police produce a portrait of just about anyone.
"I love that technology and plus it gets that word out not only to you but to the people of the community," St. Albans Police Capt. James Agee said. "If you've got the witnesses right there at the scene, right now is as good of a time as any and you'll get something out of them."
Police have released a sketch of the man who they say broke into Marcum's home. Officers say the burglar stole jewelry, a loaded handgun and the Marcum's sense of security.
"When that stuff is taken away from you that you've worked so hard for, it's like it's very scary when a stranger invades your personal space," Marcum said. "It's very alarming; it makes you afraid."
Marcum says the suspect cut himself when he jumped out of the window to escape. She says police are analyzing his blood for DNA evidence.
Police aren't sure of an exact motive. They say at this time of year, though, burglaries and break-ins are more common.
With new technology and neighbors looking out, police hope to nab more criminals and restore peace to an otherwise quiet neighborhood.
A loaded pistol and some jewelry were taken from the home.
Police say the man believed responsible is in his early 20s and about 5 feet, 10 inches to 6-feet tall with a thin build. He is believed to be from 20 to 30 years old. He was wearing a white T-shirt and denim shorts at the time of the incident about 4:30 p.m. Monday.
A sketch of the man was released based upon descriptions.
If you have any information, you’re asked to call St. Albans Police.