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The first criminal known as Chameleon was a notorious master of disguise and quick-change artist who specialized in jewel theft. His real features were rather nondescript. He was bald, with short dark hair on the back and sides.

The Diamonds Heist[]

When the criminal Diamonds was killed during a showdown with police officer Groovy Grove, Chameleon appeared at the scene of the shooting, in disguise and claiming to be Diamonds' sister. Chameleon picked the dead man's jewelry off the body and fled, handing the diamonds off to his partner Pouch. Both men then escaped.

Chameleon later targeted a customer who was leaving Tuffiney's jewel store. He rigged the woman's car so that it wouldn't start. He later posed as a helpful motorist and aided the grateful woman, stealing her handbag in the process. He removed the gem stones from a bracelet she had purchased and discarded the handbag in the street.

The Sting[]

Dick Tracy and the Major Crimes Squad decided to set a trap for Chameleon. They disguised policewoman Lizz and had her appear around the city, posing as a wealthy European film star. Lizz wore extravagant costume jewelry, which the police believed would tempt Chameleon into trying to steal them.

Lizz stayed in a hotel as part of the ruse. Chameleon, posing as a maid, gained access to her room and hid under the mattress. Tracy and Sam Catchem, who were also hiding out in the room, noticed the mattress moving and discovered Chameleon's presence. Chameleon (who had discovered that the jewelry was not genuine) stood up with the mattress wrapped around him. Confident that the durable mattress would absorb any gunshots, Chameleon used it as a shield to conceal his identity as he changed clothes. He made his way down the hotel hallway like this, pursued by Tracy and Sam, who were hesitant to engage in gun-play in such close quarters for fear of harming other hotel guests.


Chameleon was able to get to the street, no longer in his maid's disguise. He passed his accomplice Pouch, who was surprised that there were no jewels to hand off. Tracy pursued the fleeing Chameleon while Sam arrested Pouch on suspicion of conspiracy.

A serious snowstorm had crippled transportation in the city, so Chameleon stole a snowmobile from a nearby dealership. Tracy commandeered a second snowmobile and gave chase. Chameleon led Tracy on a dangerous pursuit over rough terrain with limited visibility. Chameleon believed he had an advantage on Tracy and fired at him. Tracy returned fire and Chameleon was killed (March 1st, 1971). He fell into the path of a passing snowplow and was swept along for some distance.


Chameleon's body was recovered and he was pronounced dead. The only attendees at his wake were his sister and Pouch, who left a small chameleon statue on his coffin.


  • Many years later, another criminal called the Chameleon would appear in the city, who also used disguises in his crimes. There is no apparent connection between the two men. 
  • Additionally, Marvel Comics has a criminal character called the Chameleon, who is a long-time enemy of the costumed hero Spider-Man.
  • The Mole claimed that Molene and Pouch worked for "an outfit". It is reasonable to assume that their other associates (including Chameleon) were part of this outfit as well. This may have been a reference to the Apparatus, but this was not explicitly stated.