A store clerk working at a Cumberland Farms store in Shelton, Conn., was critically injured while trying to stop the theft of a life-size cutout of actor David Hasselhoff.
Across the nation, more than 550 of these signs featuring Hasselhoff advertising iced coffee have been stolen ever since the “Baywatch” actor became a part of the store’s advertising campaign, Associated Press reported, stating that Tuesday’s theft was not an isolated incident.
“I am shocked& truly saddened about the Cumberland farms store clerk tragedy My heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with him and his family!” Hasselhoff wrote on his official Twitter account on Wednesday.
“WORDS CANNOT EXPRESS HOW I FEEL AT THIS MOMENT PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO SAY A PRAYER THAT HE MAKES A FULL RECOVERY!! THANK YOU...DAVID,” he added.
The 36-year-old convenience-store worker, whose name authorities have not revealed, was hit on the head while trying to stop the theft. Police told AP that the man was hit by the thieves’ SUV and dragged, which aggravated his injuries.
As of Wednesday, the man remained hospitalized in critical condition.
According to the Shelton Police Department’s Facebook page, a teenager has come forward to admit his involvement in the crime. “The 19 year old male, who was allegedly the driver of the vehicle, is cooperating with police in the investigation. No arrests have been made at this point,” the message read.
When the pilfering first started in 2012, Hasselhoff told WHDH-TV, NBC’s Boston affiliate that he was flattered with the attention.
“The first thing I thought of was that I was in trouble and then I thought, 'Oh good they’re not accusing me of stealing, they’re accusing people of stealing me,'" Hasselhoff told WHDH-TV at the time. "It's cool and it kind of humbles me that people are still following David Hasselhoff after all these years."
Keerthi Mohan is an IBTimes reporter covering entertainment and human interest stories.