January 28

Police release composite images of hammer-wielding Bingham robber

Using advanced computer software, police have pieced together images of the man who robbed Camden National Bank armed with a hammer Jan. 16.

By Doug Harlow dharlow@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

BINGHAM — Police are using computer software to compose clear sketches of the hammer-wielding man who robbed Camden National Bank in Bingham earlier this month.

click image to enlarge

ROBBERY SUSPECT: Composite images of the man who robbed Camden National Bank in Bingham on Jan. 16.

Image courtesy of Somerset County Sheriff’s Department

click image to enlarge

ROBBERY SUSPECT: Composite images of the man who robbed Camden National Bank in Bingham on Jan. 16.

Image courtesy of Somerset County Sheriff’s Department

Composite sketch software

Composite sketch software

FACES 4.0 software from IQ Biometrix is used by law enforcement to create composite sketches of criminal suspects. The software was used to compile visual evidence in the Jan. 16 robbery at the Camden National Bank in Bingham.

Features of the software include:

• Photo-like composites;

• Extensive database of facial features;

• Three-tone hair color;

• Facial markings: scars, moles, piercing, tattoos;

• Improved age progression;

• Detachable hats and head wear;

• Improved zooming and positioning tools.

The digital, composite sketches created from details provided by witnesses show a man possibly in his late 20s or early 30s with long hair and a full beard. The images, using IQ Biometrix Inc. software, were sent out Tuesday to the Morning Sentinel and other Maine media outlets. Law enforcement agencies were sent the sketches Monday night, said Dale Lancaster, chief deputy of the Somerset County Sheriff’s Department.

So far, there are no suspects, Lancaster said Tuesday, but leads have begun to come in based on the sketches.

Lancaster said witnesses to the Jan. 16 robbery were interviewed by Detective Bryant Jacques of Maine State Police, who used the computer software to compose the images.

“The technology has evolved with the computer programing,” Lancaster said. “They can better define the personal traits of an individual and that’s how the composites have a lot more clarity that they did years ago.”

IQ Biometrix provides security technology programs for government and private businesses, according to the company website.

Software called FACES, which police used in the Bingham investigation, allows investigators to create and recreate billions of human faces. Facial features selected from a database are automatically blended together to produce a photo quality composite facial image.

Lancaster said witnesses to the robbery described the robber to investigators and details were then digitally entered into the software. The images emerged using a database of 4,400 facial features of three-tone hair models and facial markings, such as piercings, moles, scars and tattoos as a base.

The technology can identify racial and ethnic components and has the ability to export images to use in police bulletins, advisories and websites.

Lancaster said police also are using surveillance cameras from inside the bank and from other businesses on Main Street in Bingham to track the robber. A photograph of a car, possibly used as a getaway vehicle, also was distributed.

“We think the guy that’s depicted in the sketches is somehow connected to this vehicle,” Lancaster said. He said the vehicle appears to be an older model passenger car, possibly a Buick.

Police said the robber was a white man, heavyset and about six feet tall. He was wearing a black ski mask and was armed with a hammer.

Police are not saying whether he made threats at the bank on Main Street. There was one customer in the bank during the robbery, but he was in an office, not in the main area, Lancaster said.

No employees or customers were injured. The robber got away with an undisclosed amount of cash, according to police. The robber left the bank on foot and escaped the area in a vehicle, according to Lancaster. He said police determined where it had been parked a few streets away by using a tracking dog.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367 dharlow@centralmaine.com Twitter: @Doug_Harlow

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