Fennel thieves face six years in Sicilian jail

Three Moroccan men are facing up to six years between them in a Sicilian jail for stealing seven fennel - a loot worth just €5.

Fennel thieves face six years in Sicilian jail
The men face jail for stealing fennel. Photo: Nick Saltmarsh/Flickr

The potential sentence equates to almost one year in prison for each fennel, the Palermo edition of Corriere reported.

The men, aged 22, 33 and 35, were caught stealing the fennel from a privately-owned vegetable patch in Alcamo, in the Sicilian province of Trapani, in February this year.

They were charged for the “intention to profit" from the stolen goods, Corriere said.

Italy is harsh on its petty criminals: in early November, a man caught stealing an ice-cream, four chocolates and a packet of Fruit Joy – worth less than €10 – from a shop in the northern region of Treviso was sentenced to five months in prison.

In the same month, a 64-year-old was charged with theft after stealing apples and nuts worth €4 from a supermarket in Imperia, a seaside town in the northern region of Liguria. The man was reportedly “driven by hunger” to steal. 

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Italy bank thieves in audacious tunnel escape

Italian police were left red-faced on Friday after thieves robbed a bank despite warnings from local residents that they could hear a tunnel being dug, according to media reports.

Italy bank thieves in audacious tunnel escape
Photo: Raffale Esposito/AFP

The four robbers dug the tunnel under a bank in central Milan, and once inside waited for the first employees to arrive before forcing them to open the safe and emptying the safety deposit boxes.

Once the alarm was triggered, the police arrived on the scene only to discover the crooks had made their escape.

Local residents were quick to point out they had warned the authorities something odd was going on underneath the building.

“We began hearing noises on Sunday evening. We were jokingly saying to each other, 'Are they robbing the bank?',” one unnamed resident was quoted as saying in the media.

“On Monday one of us went to the bank to warn them about the tremors we had felt. Others went to the nearest police station on Tuesday because the sounds had not stopped,” they said.

On Thursday, the night before the robbery, “even the pavement outside was shaking”, they said.

The value of the theft was not immediately known.