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Italy fugitive who missed his mum found in wardrobe

© AFP/File | The Sicilian police finally found a fugitive who had been on the run for five years when the man returned to visit his family and hid in his daughter's wardrobe

ROME (AFP) - 

An Italian fugitive who spent five years on the run has been caught hiding in a wardrobe after giving himself away to police by visiting his old mum.

The 49-year-old Sicilian had been serving a two-year sentence under house arrest for illegally carrying a weapon in public when he escaped in 2012, fleeing the country before returning to hide out near Rome, police said Monday.

The man, who had previous convictions for robbery and narcotics, "perhaps thought the police had forgotten about him, that they were tired of hunting a man who only had one year left to serve," a police statement said.

"Unfortunately for him, that was not the case."

Detectives had been keeping a close eye on the man's elderly mother, his ex-partner and his young daughter, all of whom lived near the capital.

Just two months ago officers searched the mother's house only to discover "an open window and a man's abandoned clothes and socks".

On Friday they hit gold: a raid on the ex-partner's home in Ostia, a seaside town near Rome, turned up one fugitive, hiding in his daughter's wardrobe.

© 2017 AFP