The sketch, drawn from a description given by a witness who surprised the burglar in his home, represented the first solid lead in the case, alerting citizens to what the man looks like, Jackson chief James Humpreys said last week.
Now, they've matched him with a car.
An ATM surveillance camera captured grainy photos and video of a small red car parking in a deserted bank parking lot off East Jackson Boulevard about 8:08 p.m. April 10, shortly before the attempted burglary occurred, said Lt. Rodney Barnes, spokesman for the Jackson police.
The witness' description of the car the suspect used to flee the east Jackson residence, escaping with some jewelry and assorted other items, matched the one shown in the photographs, Barnes said.
"The victim said [the suspect] fled in a red car, it's an abandoned lot, all the businesses are closed, so that's our vehicle," Barnes said.
Since last fall, Cape Girardeau police and Jackson police have been investigating a string of burglaries with a similar pattern. The break-ins appear to be well-planned, occurring soon after victims have left their homes, with a rock or other object used to break through a window or door to gain entry. The thieves concentrate on jewelry and sometimes steal cash as well but leave behind other, bulkier items of value.
The stolen goods do not appear to be pawned locally, as police have continued to scour area pawn shops in the hopes of recovering missing items, Barnes said.
"They could be melting it or selling it for scrap," he said.
Electronics and long guns have been passed over in several of the homes, and lately the thieves haven't even gone for handguns, though they did at first, Barnes said.
"We're dealing with a very good burglar," Barnes said.
"They're smart enough to take the untraceables," he said.
Cape Girardeau police have recorded more than 50 burglaries that fit the pattern, spokesman Sgt. Jason Selzer said.
Jackson has received at least 10 reports of burglaries that appear to be connected with the jewelry thefts, Barnes said. Humphreys said previously most of them were reported on the east side of the city, he said.
Both departments are urging residents to be watchful and keep an eye on the homes of neighbors when they are away. Barnes advised that anyone with valuable jewelry in their home take photographs of it, for insurance purposes and to help police in the event the house should fall prey to a burglary.
Anyone who recognizes the small red car in the photograph is being asked to call the Jackson Police Department at 243-3151 or the Cape Girardeau Police Department at 335-6621. To make an anonymous tip, call CrimeStoppers at 332-0500.
525 S. Hope St., Jackson
40 S. Sprigg St.
East Jackson Boulevard