NYPD Uses Woody Harrelson Photo To Find Lookalike Thief

By Hayden Brooks

May 17, 2019

Woody Harrelson's image has helped NYPD arrest a lookalike thief after the authorities ran a picture of the actor through a facial recognition program, as per a new report published on Thursday (May 16).

On April 28, 2017, an unidentified man was caught on camera stealing a beer at 4:48 AM from a CVS in Manhattan. While an image of the suspect was taken from surveillance footage, the photo was pixelated and ended in no results when a Facial Identification Section ran it through their system. However, as per reports, an FSI detective noticed that the suspect resembled Harrelson and submitted high-quality images via Google in place of the actual suspect's image. To their surprise, the results ended up in a match and the unidentified man was booked and charged for petty larceny.

NYPD recently conducted a similar process using a photo of a New York Knicks player to find a man wanted for an assault in Brooklyn. However, the report referenced the process of using a celebrity "match" as inaccurate and fallible.

"The stakes are too high in criminal investigations to rely on unreliable—or wrong—inputs," the report stated. "It is one thing for a company to build a face recognition system designed to help individuals find their celebrity doppelgänger or painting lookalike for entertainment purposes. It's quite another to use these techniques to identify criminal suspects, who may be deprived of their liberty and ultimately prosecuted based on the match."

Photo: Getty Images

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