Man opts for jail over New Year with relatives

ROME Fri Jan 1, 2010 10:53am EST

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ROME (Reuters) - A Sicilian man stole sweets and a packet of chewing gum so he could get arrested and spend New Year's Eve in a jail cell rather than be with his wife and relatives, Italian media reported on Friday.

The 35-year old Sicilian first showed up at a police station on Thursday asking to be arrested because he preferred spending the night in prison rather than with his family, but was rebuffed because he had not committed a crime, the Agi news agency said.

The man immediately went to a tobacco shop next door, where he threatened the owner with a box cutter as he grabbed a few sweets and a packet of gum. He then waited until police arrived to arrest him for robbery, the news agency said.

(Writing by Deepa Babington; Editing by Charles Dick)

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