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‘Hyper-Realistic’ Mask Results in Arrest of Wrong Suspect; His Own Mom Was Fooled, Lawman Says

Posted Dec 9, 2010 1:49 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A small California company makes very realistic—and very expensive—masks.

But they're worth it, some criminals have apparently decided, according to the Los Angeles Times.

By paying $600 to $1,200 for one of the "hyper-realistic" face coverings, they are able to masquerade persuasively as someone entirely different. In Ohio, a white Polish immigrant wearing an SPFXMask version of a black man's face known as "the Player" allegedly robbed a series of banks. That resulted in the arrest of an African-American suspect selected from a photo array by most of the tellers, the newspaper reports.

Only when suspect Conrad Zdzierak's girlfriend tipped authorities was he arrested and the jailed black suspect released.

"We showed the picture to his own mother, and she thought it was him," says Det. Keenan Riordan of the Springdale, Ohio, police department of the original, wrongly accused, African-American man.

An owner of the mask company tells the newspaper that it's proud of its work but unhappy about the fact that some of its products apparently are being used by criminals.

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