The Los Angeles Police Department is accusing a Black man of committing more than two dozen burglaries while wearing a white man face mask.
Officers allege that Rockim Prowell, 30, broke into at least 30 homes in the Los Angeles area. They discovered the life-like caucasian mask and wig during a traffic stop. Other items connected to several of the Beverly Hills burglaries were also recovered.
“It was odd this burglar’s mouth was always open when seen on surveillance video,” the department tweeted in reference to the mask. “When he was caught breaking into another home we discovered why.” The tweet included images of the suspect wearing a mask as well as a picture of the mask.
The tweet has since been deleted.
Police also searched Prowell’s Inglewood home. Officers found several items matching the description of stolen items.
Prowell is charged with two counts of burglary, two counts of grand theft and one count of vandalism.
Prowell is not the first burglary suspect to attempt to conceal his racial identity during a crime spree.
In 2009, Conrad Zdzierak, a 30-year-old Polish immigrant, used a $700 “hyper-realistic” mask to disguise himself as a Black man. Zdierak wore the mask to carry out during a series of robberies in Ohio. He was arrested at a hotel after police found evidence linking him to six bank robberies.
“You are the type of villain we read about in novels and see in the movies,” Hamilton County Municipal Court Judge Melissa Powers told Zdzierak.
Zdzierak received a 25-year prison sentence for his crimes.