June 24 2008

– Detectives investigating a robbery were today accused of issuing the world’s worst photo-fit picture of the suspect.

Police were hoping the image would help them identify a man they believe stole the life savings from a 98-year-old woman.

But bemused locals who have seen the picture say it could be anyone – and have even mistaken the baseball cap-wearing figure for R&B star Usher or Michael Jackson.

Photo-fit of robber

Any clue? The image was circulated by South Wales Police in Pontypool

All of the face that’s revealed by the e-fit is the  tip of the suspect’s  nose and his mouth.

And despite looking like a ‘teenage chav’ , Police, who circulated the image in Pontypool, South Wales, say the man they are looking for is aged between 40 and 50

But the town’s residents have been left scratching their heads while trying to figure out who among them it could be.

Photo-fit of robber

Mistaken identity: One local said the e-fit looked like Usher because of the cap

Plumber Jamie O’Leary, 26, said: ‘I’ve seen about 50 men in baseball caps today – it’s like a uniform around here.

‘That could be anyone – I thought it was Michael Jackson or Usher to start with.’

And office worker Janet Coombes, 37, said: ‘You have to laugh when you see it.

‘Perhaps it is a deliberate ploy to get people looking at the picture – because they say comedy is the best way of advertising.’

The capped-raider escaped with the woman’s savings after claiming he was a water board official.

He is described as white, 5ft 10 inches tall, clean shaven with a narrow chin and broad across the shoulders.

Gwent Police yesterday defended the photo-fit picture saying it could provide them with a clue to the criminal’s identity.

A spokeswoman: ‘This incident was a particularly nasty attack on a vulnerable person.

‘This picture has been issued as it is the only description we have at this stage.

‘Sometimes the smallest of details can jog someone’s memory and bring about significant leads.’

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