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    French couple facing six years in jail after police say they stole sand from a beach in Italy

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    French couple facing six years in jail after police say they stole sand from a beach in Italy

    A French couple could go to prison for as many as six years after they tried to steal sand off of a beach in Sardinia, Italy, which police found in their car.

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    Italian firefighters use a helicopter to rescue a lost cow stuck below rocky cliffs in Sardinia, Italy. USA Today

    A French couple is facing jail time after police say they tried to steal sand off of a beach in Sardinia, Italy.

    Police discovered 14 bottles of sand, adding up to almost 90 pounds, according to CNN and the BBC. The couple stated they didn’t know they committed a crime but police say beaches on the island include signs in multiple languages alerting visitors to the regulations. 

    Per a 2017 law, it’s illegal to trade sand, pebbles and shells in the area and violations can result in fines of up to $3,300, according to the BBC. The couple also faces an aggravated theft charge, which could mean one to six years in prison.

    CNN reports that theft from the white-sand beaches in Sardina is a common problem, and there is a market to sell Sardina shells and sand online.

    “Sandy beaches are one of the main attractions of Sardinia,” Pierluigi Cocco, a Cagliari (the Sardinian capital) resident and environmental scientist, told the BBC. “There are two threats: one is due to erosion, which is partly natural and partly induced by the increasing sea level due to climate change; the second is sand stealing by tourists.”

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    Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/news/2019/08/20/sardinia-sand-stealing-french-couple-could-get-six-years-prison/2059467001/

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