London, Aug 8 : A wanted poster featuring British actor Robbie Coltrane is being used by police in New Zealand because he resembles a teenage burglar.
Under the country's laws, police are not allowed to publish pictures of anyone under the age of 16, so they are doing the next best thing - by posting pictures of lookalikes.
To avoid any confusion, they advised the public that Coltrane - who is best known in the country as Hagrid in the Harry Potter films - was not in fact a burglar adding: " But imagine him aged 16 with lank, greasy hair and you have the picture."
Copies of the poster have been pushed through letterboxes in central Christchurch, the biggest city in New Zealand's South Island.
The poster features a glum faced Coltrane under the word 'wanted' in large type.
It explains in smaller letters beneath that Coltrane is not the burglar but did look like him, adding that the real criminal lives locally and travels by bicycle to commit his crimes.
"He will break windows to gain entry and ransack property, targeting electronic items, cash and jewellery".
Police said that, in wake of the legal restrictions on what they could publish and the offender's known resemblance to a younger Coltrane, frustrated officers came up with the plan.
"It's a provocative thing to get people to read our crime prevention information," the Telegraph quoted Sergeant Phil Dean, as saying.