Pickpocket nabbed in newspaper photos

February 5, 2008 6:48:58 PM PST
A man identified in a front-page newspaper photo has been sentenced for what he was doing when another photograph -- shown on the same front page -- was taken. Michael Millhouse, wearing a blue and black checkered coat, is painting decorative Christmas greetings on storefront windows in one photo published Dec. 13 in the Lewiston Tribune. The other image was taken from surveillance video footage that reportedly showed a then-unidentified man slipping a women's wallet in the pocket of that same coat and walking away.

Millhouse, 43, of Clarkston, Wash., entered an Alford plea to third-degree theft Monday in Washington's Asotin County Superior Court. Under such a plea, a defendant admits no wrongdoing but concedes he or she would be convicted if the case went to trial.

Millhouse was sentenced to 365 days in jail with 335 suspended and was allowed to serve the remaining 30 days under electronic home monitoring. He was also ordered to pay $600 restitution, the amount the woman said was in her purse when it disappeared.

Copy editors at the Tribune spotted the similarity of the person in the photos, and an employee the next morning called police in Clarkston. Prosecutor Ben Nichols thanked the northern Idaho paper after the sentencing.