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Italian police have made a breakthrough in their attempts to catch an on-the-run criminal, after discovering his severed finger at the scene of the crime.
Officers investigated the incident say that they've taken fingerprints from the digit, which was accidentally severed from the suspect's hand when he caught it on barbed wire while escaping after attempting a burglary at a recycling plant.
They were first alerted to the finger's presence when a friend of the suspected thief was seen rummaging through leaves by a security guard.
Responding to the guard's questioning, the accomplice claimed, 'I'm here for a friend, I’m looking for his finger with a ring on it.'
He too managed to escape after jumping into a waiting car before police could arrive, however officers were eventually able to recover the missing finger after finding it poking out of a pile of rubbish near the barbed wire fence.
The Corriere della Sera reports that the finger did not have the ring attached, though it's not clear whether the police have since found the missing wedding ring, with The Guardian reporting that officers hope the suspect may turn himself in in an effort to be reunited with it.
The discovery of the missing finger was made a day after the break-in, which was busted after a security guard saw two men climbing over the fence outside the recycling plant.
The finger is reportedly being kept on ice at a nearby morgue, with officers having taken prints and other forensic evidence from the digit to assist them in their efforts to identify and locate its owner.
Italian police have dealt with their fair share of robberies gone wrong in recent months, with police in Monza, near Milan, revealing in October that they'd arrested a burglary suspected who claimed to have been inspired by the French TV show Lupin, but ended up having to seek out help after injuring his arm by smashing through a glass door.
According to Euronews, the man initially told officers he'd been attacked, but eventually admitted that he'd carried out the attempted robbery of a church oratory bar after studying the techniques of Assane Diop – the main character in the Netflix series – who is himself inspired by the gentleman thief Arsène Lupin.
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