Ji Qinghai was wanted for public nuisance. Xu Shilin, false imprisonment. Yang Jianzue, bodily harm. Not unusual, except their wanted posters each used a primary-school age photo of the suspect, the South China Morning Post reports. Police in Zhenxiong, a province in southwestern China, stood their ground when first shown the irregular online postings. "His features won't have changed," says an officer of Ji, the first of four such suspects uncovered by social-media sleuths. "Look at his features clearly, his nose, eyes, ears, mouth and eyebrows. These won't have changed. We welcome any tips." Indeed, tips could apparently earn people between $150 and $3,000.
But commenters on the social media site Weibo let it fly. "Where are the police sketch artists? Help them draw a portrait," said one, while another said "this again shows your level of competence, how embarrassing. With this kind of action and logic, how can we feel safe?" Police then opted for a more conciliatory tone, per NDTV: "The use of old children's photos (now removed) has drawn the attention of netizens and created a negative influence," they said in a Weibo post. "We sincerely apologise for the carelessness in our work." Police said more up-to-date photos simply weren't available. (Read more police stories.)