Two British teenagers arrested on suspicion of stealing artifacts from the former Nazi death camp at Auschwitz were given suspended sentences Tuesday and fined 1,000 zloty (NIS 1,008) each after admitting they had committed the theft.

A spokesman for the site, which is now home to a museum, said guards on Monday caught Marcus Dell and Ben Thompson, both 17, digging in the ground in an area called block 5, where there were once barracks used to sort the personal items of arriving prisoners.

“They detained them and discovered that they were in possession of shards of glass, buttons, a hair clipper and bits of metal,” he told AFP. According to police, the items included a comb, spoons and pieces of glass.

Regional police spokesman Mariusz Ciarka said the teenagers could get up to 10 years in prison for stealing objects of historical value from the site in the southern Polish city of Oswiecim.

After being held overnight in the nearby Malopolska police station, and following an interrogation through an interpreter, Dell and Thompson received the much lighter sentence of a year’s probation, suspended for three years, and the fine.

Thompson’s parents Alan and Sharron said Ben was “very scared and upset” from the ordeal, according to the UK’s Daily Mail.

“When you’re young you sometimes do things without thinking them through,” they said in a statement. “We are very much aware of the seriousness of the situation and know that it is not a trivial matter. He knows that what he did was stupid and disrespectful and is very sorry for any offense that he has caused the Polish community.”

Sawicki said the area where the teens were digging was “a place where we still find objects in the ground that once belonged to the camp’s victims.”

“The museum is very important for us and to people from all around the world and the Jewish people,” Krakow police spokesman Krzysztof Lach was quoted as saying by The Guardian.

The incident made waves in the British media early Wednesday. The headmaster of the teens’ school, Ed Elliott, was quoted in the Daily Mail pledging a “full and thorough investigation…. I want to hear directly from the boys as to what led them to take these items. I want to ensure that all necessary lessons are learnt. The opportunity to be able to visit Holocaust sites carries with it the duty to treat those sites with the utmost respect and sensitivity.”

It is not the first time someone has tried to smuggle out a piece of the former death camp, which has become a symbol of the Holocaust and is visited by more than a million people from across the world each year.

Several people have tried to make off with barbed wire, while one gang stole the camp’s infamous “Arbeit macht frei” (“Work makes you free”) sign in 2009.

The man behind that theft, Swedish neo-Nazi Anders Hoegstroem, was jailed for two-and-a-half years.

The metal sign was eventually recovered cut up into three pieces, leading museum officials to display a replica above the entrance.

One million European Jews were murdered at the camp set up by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland in 1940-1945.

More than 100,000 others, including non-Jewish Poles, Roma, Soviet prisoners of war and anti-Nazi resistance fighters, also died there, according to the museum.