Artist foils theft attempt, draws sketch of would-be thief

February 07, 1997|By Lisa Breslin | Lisa Breslin,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

The last thing two men expected when they tried to steal a side-view mirror at Davis Buick in Westminster last weekend was an eyewitness who is an artist.

Their attempt was foiled and the artist's sketch of one of the would-be burglars is hanging at the Maryland State Police barracks.

Richard Edward Stogo was watching television Sunday afternoon when he heard someone talking in the parking lot below his apartment. Stogo has rented an efficiency apartment above the car dealership for two years and says he fancies his panoramic view.

"I look out the window quite a bit, but this is the first time I've seen this," said Stogo, a 64-year-old retiree who has done pen-and-ink drawings for more than 30 years. "I knew something was up because the two men were here for an hour. Why would anyone hang around a dealership for an hour when it is closed?"

Stogo said he watched one of the men circle the lot while the other tried to pry the mirror off a 1995 conversion van. "I watched for a while, and then I slid open my window and yelled, 'Gotcha.' That was enough. The guy who was working on the mirror jumped in his friend's car and they drove off. I would have videotaped it, but the battery on my camera needs a charge," said Stogo.

Stogo's apartment is filled with paintings in the style of Charles Marion Russell, who painted the cowboys, Indians, and rough terrain of the Wild West. From photos in old magazines, Stogo also has painted presidents, soldiers and sailors. This week he used his eye for detail and whipped off a sketch of one of the vandals who tried to pry off the mirror at the dealership.

"Mr. Stogo definitely saved us some money," said Scott Hollinger, vice president of Davis Buick-GMC Truck. "I was surprised he didn't call the police. He sure took a risk."

Pub Date: 2/07/97

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