Bank thief with cancer 'stole to help family'

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The Independent Online

A shopkeeper has confessed to robbing 13 banks in Turin after beingdiagnosed with cancer. The robber, whom police have referred to only as Enrico A, from Savona, a seaside town near Genoa, amassed €115,000 (£80,000), raiding one bank three times.

A shopkeeper has confessed to robbing 13 banks in Turin after beingdiagnosed with cancer. The robber, whom police have referred to only as Enrico A, from Savona, a seaside town near Genoa, amassed €115,000 (£80,000), raiding one bank three times.

The 53-year-old told police that after being diagnosed with cancer and discovering he had little time to live, he became anxious about his family's financial future.

Mr A, who told police he recently closed his clothes shop, would drive 90 miles to Turin, staying in the same hotel. At the banks, he unbuttoned his shirt at the cashier's window, revealing a bandage on his chest with wires protruding from it. He would show the cashier a card saying, "Give me money or I will blow myself up. I'm wired to plastic explosive."

The robberies took place over 18 months, with a six-month break during which Mr A was given chemotherapy. This week, a detective waiting at traffic lights recognised his face from CCTV images and arrested him.

He is now back in hospital, his condition having worsened.No one in his family was aware of his double life.

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