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Man Allegedly Robs Bank So He Can Go To Prison, Escape Wife

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Blake Neff Reporter

A 70-year-old man in Kansas City, Kansas, allegedly robbed a bank because he preferred a prison cell to spending time with his wife at home.

Lawrence John Ripple walked into the Bank of Labor Sept. 2 and, according to court documents, gave a teller a note reading “I have a gun, give me money.” The teller swiftly complied, but instead of fleeing with the cash Ripple instead sat down in the bank’s lobby. When a security officer approached, Ripple quickly identified himself as the thief and handed over the money he’d taken, and then waited for police to arrive. That didn’t take long, because the Bank of Labor is just a block away from a police station.

According to an FBI affidavit included in court documents, the robbery appears to have stemmed from an argument Ripple had at home with his wife.

“Ripple wrote out his demand note in front of his wife … and told her he’d rather be in jail than at home,” the affidavit said, according to the Kansas City Star.

Ripple faces two felony charges for robbery and aggravated robbery, which carry a maximum sentence of over 20 years. Ripple was released Wednesday pending further action in the case; it’s not known whether he returned home to be with his wife.

If Ripple really did use crime to escape his wife, he isn’t the first person to use the criminal justice system to escape the real world. There have been multiple reported instances of individuals committing crimes to receive the free health care and free “housing” offered by the criminal justice system. In 2013, a woman even attacked a sheriff’s deputy with the intent of using her jail stint to break a smoking addiction.

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