Shaker Heights detective’s passion for doodling now helps solve crimes

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SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio-–  Police sketches are used all the time as a tool to help detectives find a suspect.

But it’s hard to remember one sketch being as accurate as the one Shaker Heights Det. Walt Siegel drew of a suspect in a Gates Mills home invasion case.

“I was happy when I saw that it helped,” said Siegel, who said he never considered himself an artist.

Siegel, who  has drawn about 40 sketches over the years, said he never planned to become a sketch artist.

“I would doodle, and draw my co-workers for fun” Siegel said. His supervisor thought he was pretty good and decided to send him to school to learn how to draw sketches.

“He figured he would put the doodling to good use,” Siegel said with a laugh.

His now does sketches for several local departments.

“The drawing is part of the case, it’s something detectives can use,” Siegel said.

Gates Mills Police Chief Gregg Minichello said Siegel’s work was instrumental in helping his department solve a recent home invasion.  A person saw a man in the area that looked similar to the suspect sketch.

“When I looked at it, I couldn’t believe how much the suspect looked like the sketch,” Minichello said.

Police said 38-year-old Shaun Corrigan broke into a woman's house on Jan. 6 and bound her with duct tape. He's accused of stealing cash and jewelry before fleeing.

Siegel gives credit to the victims and witnesses, saying it’s a team effort.

“When the sketch helps identify a suspect, well, that’s a great thing,” Siegel said.