Viral thief who 'looked like Ross from Friends' has finally been caught and jailed
Petty crimes such as shoplifting rarely make it to national news, especially when the incidents aren't violent in their nature. It's even rarer for them to become known internationally. For one man in Blackpool, England, his viral fame came not so much from what he was doing - but who he looked like.
CCTV video was released by Blackpool Police showing someone who looked a heck of a lot like Ross from Friends, as he fled from a store with a crate of beer in hand. The authorities shared a still from the footage, not knowing that his likeness to actor David Schwimmer would lead to his image spreading all over the internet.
"Do you recognise this man?" they wrote back in October. "We want to speak to him in relation to a theft at a Blackpool restaurant on the 20th September." Naturally, once the internet cottoned on to how much he looked like Ross in the photo, the jokes started coming in.
Eventually, David Schwimmer found out about the strange news, and took to Twitter to share a little joke about it. "Officers, I swear it wasn't me," he wrote. "As you can see, I was in New York."
The police were on the look-out for the real suspect, and as the news spread many called in with their own theories. One woman was convinced that the culprit was her own son, who had gone missing 11 years previously. However, the police eventually tracked down the man responsible for the robbery in West London, naming him as 36-year-old Abdulah Husseini after his arrest.
Husseini was apparently due to appear at the Blackpool magistrates' court on December 18th on charges of theft and fraud, but reportedly failed to make an appearance. The police appealed to the public once again for some help, this time with a mugshot to aid the search - and it turned out he doesn't really look like the actor when you see him up close.
Husseini, who is accused of stealing a phone, coat, and wallet from a restaurant, evaded police for over month. A warrant was issued for the arrest of the man, who was described as 6'1 and with links to Slough, although authorities said he "may have travelled to anywhere in the country".
Now, Husseini has reportedly been caught and charged, sentenced to four-and-a-half months in jail. Appearing via video link from prison, he reportedly admitted to the crime and plead guilty to being in possession of a knife. Prosecutor Rav Chodha told the court:
"This is the theft at the Treaty Centre in Hounslow on September 11. The defendant is seen on CCTV to steal a large quantity of Lynx deodorant and leave, making no attempt to pay.
The deferent is identified by a police officer and is arrested by a police officer on January 14 in South Road, Southall. He is found to be in possession of a craft knife which is in his pocket. The defendant was interviewed and made no comment to questions put to him in his interview.
He was convicted at Uxbridge Magistrates Court, after his arrest in Blackpool, where he tested positive for cocaine and opiates.