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‘Rather be in jail’: 70-year-old man robs bank to get arrested and away from wife, police say

Lawrence John Ripple. (Wyandotte County Detention Center via Reuters)
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Breaking up is hard to do.

So hard that one 70-year-old man in Kansas City, Kan., decided he’d rather avoid doing so altogether by getting himself thrown in a jail cell instead of spending another minute at home with his wife.

On Tuesday, Lawrence John Ripple was charged with bank robbery. It is unclear whether he has a lawyer, and he has not entered a plea.

On Wednesday, he was moved from the Wyandotte County Detention Center in Kansas City to a federal facility in Leavenworth, Kan., according to Reuters.

If Ripple’s to be believed, that’s exactly where he’d like to be.

Last Friday, Ripple had a fight with his wife of 33 years, Dido.

She told WWLP that they were arguing over a broken dryer that she asked him to fix.

As the domestic dispute heated up, Ripple yelled that he’d “rather be in jail than at home,” according to police documents obtained by Reuters.

It seems Ripple is a man of his word, because after the fight, he drove to the Brotherhood Bank and Trust in the Riverview neighborhood of Kansas City.

He strolled in and handed the teller a demanding note — one that, according to an FBI affidavit for his arrest obtained by WPLG, he “wrote out … in front of his wife.”

“I have a gun. Give me money,” the scrawled handwriting read.

So the teller gathered $3,000 and handed it over to the bank robber.

But he didn’t rush out to a waiting getaway car. In fact, he didn’t make any attempt to escape whatsoever.

Instead, he approached a chair in the bank’s lobby and plopped himself down.

Odd as this would normally be, it’s even stranger when one considers the fact that the Kansas City Police Department is on the other end of the block, separated from the bank by little more than a coffee shop, a Chinese restaurant and a Subway.

A presumably confused security guard approached the man, who was still holding the $3,000 he had stolen from the bank not minutes earlier.

Ripple looked at him and stated the obvious.

“I’m the guy you’re looking for,” he told the guard, according to police documents obtained by the Kansas City Star.

Since they were stationed mere feet away, it didn’t take long for police to arrive and take Ripple into custody.

When they questioned Ripple, he said he “no longer wanted to be in that situation,” referring to his home life.

And now, he’s not.

Lt. Kelli Bailiff of the Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Department said she had never seen anything like this in her 33 years on the force.

“You can get divorced,” she told WWLP. “I’ve never heard of someone who would rather come to jail and commit a crime so they don’t have to go home and be with their family. That’s never happened.”

His alleged ploy makes sense to at least one unnamed person WWLP interviewed.

“They have libraries in jail. They have special programs, activities,” she told the station. “It’s almost like he’s going to an old folks’ home, early.”

If convicted, Ripple faces up to 20 years in prison.