PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Body art is becoming almost as useful as fingerprints when solving crimes.
Four-in-10 people currently have a tattoo, meaning police in Phoenix have a 4-in-10 chance at automatically identifying a suspect.
"It does seem there are more tattoos than ever and those help us identify suspects at times,” said Sgt. Tommy Thompson with Phoenix Police Department.
Christopher Wambach-Fields learned that the hard way.
Accused of murder at Phoenix’s Madison Park, witnesses described his tattoos to police.
Using that description, they were able to identify Fields and arrest him.
Nationally, tattoos are now second only to fingerprints when it comes to identifying suspects.
Police say the key is that people change, but for the most part, tattoos do not.
"Hair color can be changed, but a tattoo, it can be very difficult to remove,” said Thompson.
In the case of Fields, his characteristics were not hard to miss.
He is currently at the Maricopa County Jail facing murder charges.