An Italian man inspired by the film Catch Me if You Can was arrested over the weekend for impersonating an airline pilot in a ruse that allowed him to catch the jumpseat on at least one European flight.
The unidentified 32-year-old man allegedly created a mock persona as Lufthansa pilot Andrea Sirlo using fake IDs and a homemade pilot uniform in his efforts to pull off the scheme, according to a report by the BBC. The man went so far as to create a Facebook page under the alias, posting pictures of himself in uniform along with supposed flight attendant friends.
According to police reports, the scam allowed him to make his way into the cockpit on an Air Dolomiti flight from Munich to Turin in April. Authorities are now trying to determine if he was able to breach the flight decks of any other commercial airplanes.
Investigators say they were tipped off about the alleged con artist after he introduced himself as a captain to an aviation enthusiast who thought the man looked too young to hold the position.
Police arrested the man as he sat in uniform at a bar at Turin Airport. He now faces charges of impersonation and endangering air transport security.