Aaron Defant, 29, was identified as the culprit in Stuttgart city centre on Wednesday by a member of the public who had watched the ZDF broadcast of Aktenzeichen XY... ungelöst five weeks earlier, The Local reports.
The show's presenter Rudi Cerne told Bild that this was the first time such a mix-up had happened.
He added: "Maybe it's because the actor looked very similar to the real criminal."
Of being apprehended, Defant said: "Suddenly two officers were standing behind me. They demanded my ID. I asked them why, but they didn't answer... I told them I'm an actor."
Defant managed to convince the officers that he was not the man responsible for the unsolved theft in Kirn, Rhineland-Palatinate.
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