Italian police arrested four men after they were caught “red-handed” with a rucksack onboard the Costa Concordia, suspected of trying to steal items off the damaged cruise ship.
The suspects – which included a 42-year-old English man, a 35-year-old Irish man, and two South Africans, ages 26 and 24 – all worked for the Titan salvage group, which helped move the ship upright after it struck a reef and tipped over, Sky News reports.
"They had no permission to be on the ship and they were caught at 1:30 a.m. in the morning when no salvage operation was ongoing,” said Lt. Elisabette Spoti, of the paramilitary Carabinieri police. "They were caught red-handed with the rucksack and the suspicion is they were trying to take items from the ship as souvenirs.”
Titan has fired all four men and they will appear before a judge at a later date on accusations of theft and breaching a sealed crime zone, Sky News reports. They have been bailed out by authorities in Grosseto.
Thieves stole the Costa Concordia’s brass bell three months after the ship ran aground, killing 32 as it tipped over into the waters off the island of Giglio. Capt. Francesco Schettino changed the ship’s route to carry out a sail by salute, according to Sky News.