A thief dubbed a “lookalike” of Friends actor David Schwimmer has been jailed for nine months for theft and fraud offences.
Abdulah Husseini, 36, described in court as a "travelling, wandering, nomadic thief", used a stolen bank card to make or attempt to make fraudulent purchases at four shops in Blackpool, Lancashire, last September.
Husseini walked into an all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant in the resort and stole a wallet from a customer's jacket while he was away from his table.
Shortly after, he began trying to use the card from the wallet and made two successful purchases at nearby stores before CCTV showed him carrying cans of beers to the till at an Iceland store, Burnley Crown Court heard.
A month later, Blackpool Police posted the captured CCTV image on its Facebook page in an appeal to trace the offender.
The post subsequently went went viral with more than 11 million shares and 30,000 comments as members of the public pointed out the suspect's likeness to Schwimmer's character Ross Geller in the popular US sitcom.
Schwimmer then posted a video to his Twitter account that showed him scurrying through a convenience store carrying a carton of beer before looking up furtively at a CCTV camera.
In October 2018, Blackpool police posted an image on Facebook asking for witnesses to identify the man, who was pictured leaving a restaurant in Blackpool carrying what appeared to be a crate of cans.
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Facebook users quickly piled into the comments section, pointing out the suspect’s likeness to Schwimmer’s character Ross Geller in the US sitcom.
On Thursday, Husseini was convicted by a jury after a two-day trial of one count of theft and four counts of fraud by false representation.
He was then sentenced by Judge Sara Dodd, who told him he had an "appalling criminal history" and that he was "an habitual thief".