It's hard to believe, we know, but it seems some police forces are so bereft of ideas they're actually using screenshots of Nintendo game characters to try to find suspects.

The news that a police force in Kanagawa Prefecture, near Tokyo, has issued a wanted poster featuring not a photo of the perp or even an artist's likeness, but a cartoon face made on the Wii somehow seems to fit with what we know about that game-obsessed nation.

Real deal

Mind you, it has raised eyebrows even in Japan, as countless bloggers have pored over the photos of the sign attached to a lamp-post and seeking help in finding a car-theft suspect.

The Mii character is distinguished only from its peers by having shoulder-length hair and sunglasses. So far, it seems there's no question that the poster really is official police work.

Let's just hope the real suspect doesn't see the screen grab and work out that all he needs is a trip to the barber and to ditch the shades.