NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

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August 2, 2013

Burglary suspect misled police with phony story, fake sketch

GEORGETOWN, Mass. — Roy McClung, 24, appeared to be the attentive and helpful neighbor anyone would want living next door.

After his Georgetown, Mass., neighbor's home was broken into and thousands of dollars worth of jewelry and electronics stolen last month, McClung replaced the bedroom window smashed by the thief to get into the house.

McClung had even called police earlier in the day to report a suspicious man in his backyard, between his barn and the victim's house.

The next day, McClung spent two hours at the Georgetown Police Station working with a sketch artist to come up with an image of the supposed thief — a white male with a goatee, wearing a rope chain and Bruins cap and carrying a black backpack and duffel bag, according to police reports.

McClung's story turned out to be as phony as the sketch, police said.

About six weeks after the break-in, detectives learned that McClung had sold a Bose Stereo and some jewelry at a local pawn shop. Police confirmed the stereo was one of the items stolen from McClung's neighbor by obtaining the serial number from the manufacturer, according to police reports.

McClung was charged Wednesday with receiving stolen property worth more than $250.

Assistant District Attorney John DePaulo said police wasted valuable time and resources drawing the fake sketch and then looking for a suspect to match it.

"This is one of the most astounding fact patterns I've ever seen," DePaulo said of the case. "He boards up the victim's windows and wastes the time of a sketch artist to come up with a completely fictitious composite."

Shawn Regan is a reporter for The Eagle Tribune in North Andover, Mass.

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