Video of a grocery store heist went viral last year after many noticed the striking similarities between the thief and TV star David Schwimmer. Despite the initial confusion, police apprehended the suspect, who will now spend nine months in prison.
Abdulah Husseini, 36, was jailed on Aug. 15 after being found guilty on one count of theft and four counts of fraud by false representation.
In a scene perhaps more reminiscent of "Twin Peaks" than "Friends," the criminal bearing an uncanny resemblance to the man who once played the fictional Ross Geller had been caught on camera stealing beer at a supermarket in Blackpool, England. The footage quickly went viral this past October as fans of the beloved '90s sitcom shared and commented on the post.
Husseini, an Iranian national from Slough who was described by Judge Sara Dodd as "an habitual thief," had used a stolen bank card to make several purchases before being caught by police, according to the BBC. The card had come from a pilfered customer at a nearby Lancashire resort.
Husseini maintained his innocence throughout the two-day trial but was convicted. His legal representative, Rebecca Filletti, had said that Husseini struggled with addiction and had been attempting to overcome the problem while in custody.
CCTV footage of the theft had been shared on Facebook by Blackpool police, garnering more than 65,000 shares and 100,000 comments before it was deleted. Nearby police officers hopped in on the joke with references to famous episodes of "Friends" as the post spread: "If you see him keep away," Dumfries Police of Scotland wrote on Facebook, according to CNN. "He is known to have studied Karate and we believe he has mastered the art of Unagi, the state of total awareness.”
"Thank you to everyone for your speedy responses. We have investigated this matter thoroughly and have confirmed that David Schwimmer was in America on this date," Blackpool Police later wrote on Facebook, according to CNN. "We're so sorry it has to be this way."
As the video made the rounds, Schwimmer himself even made sure to provide an alibi over social media, tweeting: "Officers, I swear it wasn't me. As you can see, I was in New York. To the hardworking Blackpool Police, good luck with the investigation. #itwasntme," paired with a spoof of the original security footage.
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