A black man was arrested in Los Angeles last week after he allegedly used a life-like face mask with fake hair to disguise himself as a white male while committing a string of burglaries in the Los Angeles area, according to authorities.
Rockim Prowell, 30, a resident of Inglewood, has been linked to nearly 30 home burglaries in the region and has been charged by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office with two counts each of burglary, grand theft and one count of vandalism, according to the Beverly Hills Police Department.
Cops Wondered Why Burglar's Mouth Was Always Open
Prowell was first linked to a pair of home burglaries that took place in the expensive neighborhood in April and July of 2020. Investigators placed his vehicle at the crimes after combing through hours of surveillance footage. Authorities subsequently released images showing the seemingly white suspect with brown hair, wearing full-sleeved clothes and eyeglasses.
The suspect stole flat-screen television in both burglaries. However, they wondered why the burglar always had his mouth open at all times. "It was odd this burglar's mouth was always open when seen on video surveillance," LAPD Pacific wrote in a now-deleted post on Twitter. "When he was caught breaking into another home we discovered why."
Prowell Arrested During Traffic Stop After Police Found a Face Mask in his Vehicle
Prowell was arrested during a traffic stop after police found items, including a face mask, in the vehicle he was driving that linked him to the burglaries. They also determined the license plates attached to the vehicle were stolen.
When detectives conducted a search warrant at Prowell's home in Inglewood, they discovered stolen items connecting him to to as many as 30 home burglaries in the region, FOX Los Angeles reported.
Beverly Hills investigators are working with Los Angeles Police Department detectives and authorities in Newport Beach, an affluent coastal city in Orange County, to determine if he is linked to home burglaries in those cities.
Prowell was released on bond about 6 p.m. Thursday but is scheduled to appear in court on May 25, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department jail records.