On 23 October, Blackpool Police posted a still from security camera footage (pictured) of a man wanted in relation to a theft of a case of beer from a local business a month earlier.
However, the post quickly went viral on social media as people recognised the remarkable resemblance that the wanted man had with actor David Schwimmer (inset) – made famous for his role on TV sitcom Friends and as the voice of one of the characters in the animated Madagascar movie franchise.
Within two days, it had attracted 161,000 comments and been shared more than 106,000 times, with many people quick to make light of the situation.
Commenting on the original Facebook post, one follower said, “I don't think it’s been this guy’s day, his week, his month or even his year.....” – a reference to a line in the Friends theme song.
The actor took the situation in stride, posting a spoof video of him looking like the real wanted man with the tag line, “Officers, I swear it wasn’t me. As you can see, I was in New York”.
Blackpool Police in turn responded by sharing the post, stating, “Thanks for being there for us David Schwimmer We appreciate your support!”
The police service also posted a comment ruling Mr Schwimmer out as a possible suspect.
“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. We’re so sorry it has to be this way.”
It is not clear whether all the publicity has resulted in the matter being formally resolved.