When a local English police force issued a police sketch of a suspect wanted for a burglary, they were hoping social media users would help them catch the suspect. Instead, the internet thought it was a prank.
Warwickshire Police’s tweet on Tuesday took the internet by storm, with more than 17,000 retweets and 26,000 likes. It received thousands of replies on Twitter alone.
The police sketch – known in the U.K. as an “e-fit,” delighted users on Twitter, who compared the image’s distinctive and cartoonish features to the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland and Spongebob Squarepants.
The police said they had released the image to try to catch two burglars who tricked their way into a house in Stratford-Upon-Avon on Feb. 5.
After distracting a woman in her 40s, they broke into the house and stole an undisclosed amount of money, police said.
After the sketch caused a storm on both Twitter and Facebook, Warwickshire Police confirmed that it was indeed real after many users suggested it was a delayed April Fool’s Day prank.
They explained the image was created from a description provided by the victim, and hoped that the attention would help them catch the suspects sooner.
Officers are asking anyone with information to contact them or to visit the Crime Stoppers website.