Hit-And-Run Suspect Got Awful Face Tattoo As Disguise, Say Police

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Before and after photos of Tracy Clapp (Photos courtesy of the Santa Ana Police Department)

It's not new for criminals to disguise themselves to evade the cops. John Dillinger, for instance, once paid $5000 to get a facelift, remove moles, and chemically burn off his fingerprints, according to History Channel.

Santa Ana police arrested Saturday night a woman who may have taken a cue from the Dillinger play book. Authorities say 39-year-old Tracy Clapp left the scene of an April 20 hit-and-run, then changed her appearance in an attempt to go unnoticed by cops, reports the OC Register. Her body alterations—a sort of Mike Tyson "tribal" face tattoo, and bright pink hair—may have worked for a brief spell, as she was able to evade police for more than a month after the incident. Though, in the end, police were able to see through her ink job.

The hit-and-run victim, 26-year-old Christopher Chavez of Santa Ana, was walking to a Denny's when he was struck by Clapp's BMW. Clapp had allegedly gotten out of the car to check on Chavez, but later fled the scene. Chavez was taken to the Orange County Global Medical Center and was later pronounced braindead.

With the help of a witness' photos, along with tips coming into the police station, authorities were able to find Clapp at a house in the southeast area of Santa Ana. She fled on foot but was later subdued by officers and a police canine.

Chavez was described as a popular drum line teacher at Saddleback High School. A $20,000 reward offer for a tip-off on Clapp has gone unclaimed.