April 1 (UPI) — Police in Poland arrested a 37-year-old American man accused of attempting to steal a piece of train tracks at the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, local authorities said.
Oswiecim police spokeswoman Malgorzata Jurecka told ABC News that the man, whose name was not reported, was “charged with attempted theft of an item of cultural importance from the Holocaust memorial site” Saturday.
She said he faced up to 10 years in prison for the crime, but because he admitted guilt, he’ll likely face two years probation. Polish authorities allowed the Texas man to return home and said he would not have to return to Poland for court proceedings.
The man was part of a group touring the death camp when another tourist saw him allegedly attempt to steal the piece of train tracks. That tourist reported the incident to museum security.
“Unfortunately, these kind of incidents happen from time to time and it’s always terribly emotional to us,” Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum spokesman Bartosz Bartyzel said.
Nazi officials killed more than 1.1 million people — most of them Jewish — at the Auschwitz concentration camp complex during World War II. It has since been turned into a museum and memorial.