A cruise ship vacationer has admitted this week to stealing a copy of a famous oil painting by Rembrandt while aboard a Bermuda-bound liner, reports The Royal Gazette Online. The passenger, Kevin Hudgeons, attempted to nab the $13,000 painting straight off the wall of a Norwegian Star ship last week.
The prosecutor in the case of the open-sea art heist explained to the Gazette that security staff stumbled upon Hudgeons holding a door-sized masterpiece while trying to leave the vessel. When confronted by the surprised staff, Hudgeons simply replied, "I'm going to mail it home."
A peek at the ship's video footage cleared up the confusion. It showed the ballsy, Kentucky-bred cruiser removing the copy of a Rembrandt painting from the ship's wall and carrying it towards his room.
The guilty party's defense lawyer, Oonagh Vaucrosson, stated that his client was a recovering drug addict and had been taking a medication to treat opiate withdrawal, writes USA Today.
During police questioning, Hudgeons allegedly stated a variety of explanations as to why he was in possession of the large art work, including that he'd bought it at an auction and painted it himself.
The Bermuda court where Hugdeon's case was tried sentenced the tourist-turned-crook to a $500 fine for his misdeed. Even after the defense lawyer argued that his client had spent the weekend in custody, missed work and was now forced to make alternative travel plans to return to the United States as a result of the proceedings.
Lesson learned, right readers? When you casually attempt to steal a gigantic, expensive painting and try to mail it across borders, you might just pay a price.
Let us know what you think of the cruise ship debacle in the comments section. Look below for reasons NOT to go on a cruise.
1. Titanic troubles: Your ship might sink.
The most famous of all cruise ship tragedies, the sinking of the Titanic, is about to mark its 100th anniversary. James Cameron went a long way to be historically accurate in "Titanic" but most of his characters were pure fiction. Who better to give an account of what happened that fateful April night (that cost more than 1500 people their lives) than the people who were there? In Nick Barratt's <a href="http://us.macmillan.com/lostvoicesfromthetitanic/NickBarratt" target="_hplink">"Lost Voices from the Titanic: The Definitive Oral History," </a>the survivors have a voice, and their tales, though conflicting at times, are still compelling.
2. Seabourn Spirits surprise: You might be attacked by pirates.
Imagine sunning yourself on the lido deck when two boats full of Somali pirates creep up on your ship and start firing guns. That's what happened in 2005 to 302 passengers aboard the Seabourn Spirits when they sailed past some pirates off the coast of Somalia. The conflict ended when the ship <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/4409662.stm" target="_hplink">found a way to fake fire back</a> at the attackers. But even large ships aren't immune to attack, suggests Cdr. Mark Gaouette in his book <a href="http://www.abc-clio.com/product.aspx?isbn=9780313382345" target="_hplink">"Cruising for Trouble: Cruise Ships as Soft Targets for Pirates, Terrorists, and Common Criminals.</a>"
3. Norwegian Dawn disaster: Waves get really big in the middle of the ocean.
This cruise ship traveling between New York and the Bahamas in April 2005 was <a href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7533945/ns/us_news/t/huge-wave-turnscruise-shipholiday-horror/#.TxXm9yO0z5Z" target="_hplink">hit by a giant wave</a>, causing passenger injuries and flooded cabins. You know it's a spoiled vacation when the best you can say is "At least it wasn't as bad as '<a href="http://www.harpercollins.com/books/Poseidon-Adventure-The-Paul-Gallico?isbn=9780061154423&HCHP=TB_Poseidon+Adventure,+The" target="_hplink">The Poseidon Adventure.'"</a>
4. Carnival Splendor blackout: Even with all that water surrounding it, a ship can catch fire.
In 2010, a<a href="http://articles.nydailynews.com/2010-11-11/news/27080927_1_cruise-ship-engine-room-fire-first-passengers" target="_hplink"> Carnival cruise ship's engine room caught fire</a>, leaving the ship without power for three days. In her bestselling 2011 <a href="http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/books_9780316056878.htm" target="_hplink">memoir, "Bossypants,"</a> "30 Rock" star Tina Fey recalls a similar episode from her honeymoon cruise from New York to Bermuda: The romantic getaway was ruined when the ship caught fire. Though the fire was contained without incident, what newlywed couple wants to be confronted with a "women and children first" situation right after their wedding?
5. Celebrity Mercury virus: Contagion spreads quickly in close quarters.
In early 2010 a nasty bug struck more than 400 passengers on this Celebrity cruise ship--and there were several other such outbreaks that year. When you travel in such close quarters, it's no surprise that germs can spread easily. But maladies at sea can come in many different forms. Just ask Ben MacFarlane, M.D., who documented his experience as a ship's doctor--mending everything from climbing-wall injuries to lonelyhearts malaise--in<a href="http://www.hodder.co.uk/books/work.aspx?WorkID=156538 " target="_hplink"> "Cruise Ship SOS: The Life-Saving Adventures of a Doctor at Sea."</a>
6. Onboard assaults: Crimes committed on cruise ships can be tough to prosecute.
When a crime occurs in international waters and on a boat without a real police force, it can be difficult to prove wrongdoing. There have been <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Travel/cruise-ship-crime-teen-speaks-alleged-rape/story?id=12945292#.T064YMzG6F4 " target="_hplink">reports of rape</a> on different vessels and cruise lines and there is an entire <a href="http://www.cruiserape.com/ " target="_hplink">online community</a> dedicated to supporting victims who have been raped on cruise vacations. Kristoffer A. Garin delves into the complexities of international law, taxes and crimes--and why it's so difficult to prosecute cruise-ship crimes--in his book <a href="http://us.penguingroup.com/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,9780452287341,00.html?strSrchSql=Devils+on+the+Deep+Blue+Sea%3A+The+Dreams%2C+Schemes%2C+and+Showdowns+That+Built+America's+Cruise-Ship+Empires/Devils_on_the_Deep_Blue_Sea_Kristoffer_A._Garin " target="_hplink">"Devils on the Deep Blue Sea: The Dreams, Schemes, and Showdowns That Built America's Cruise-Ship Empires."</a>
Related on HuffPost: