Three American tourists were arrested after being caught stealing a decorative wooden ELEPHANT.
Friends Drew Davidson, John Johnson and Andrew Corso arrived in Thailand earlier month and flew to holiday island Koh Samui.
But Davidson and Johnson were filmed bizarrely carrying away a 3ft high carved teak wood elephant from outside a restaurant at at 2.25am local time on Monday morning.
The heartbroken owner – who put the statue their next to a bigger one for good luck – appealed for help in finding the men.
Officers traced the men – who all appear to have high-flying jobs in the U.S. including at NASA – back to the hotel where they were staying and found a driving licence belonging to Corso that had been left behind.
Police today stopped their rented pick up truck on a neighbouring island Koh Phangan after the ornament was carried away on a BOAT.
They found the carving stashed in the back of their vehicle.
Koh Samui Tourist Police said today that all three men had been arrested and were being returned to the island for questioning.
A spokesman said: ”They stole the elephant from Koh Samui. Police have arrested them on Koh Phangan and taken them back to Koh Samui island.
”Now they are on the boat and they come back to Koh Samui. They left the island at 4pm.
”They will go straight to the police who will investigate and if necessary they will go to court.
”The police officer on duty has spoken to the owner and checked the CCTV footage. The men will be interviewed shortly.’’
According to their social media profiles, Davidson works in New Jersey as a business researcher, Corso works in Virginia at a NASA research centre and Johnson works in sports medicine for a firm in Virginia.
Relieved restaurant owner Sasothon Somvung said: ‘’I’ve had some good news. Thank you to all the people who helped find the elephant after the foreigners took it to Koh Phangan.
‘’Thank you for the support, especially from family. I hope that we can come together and help each other forever.’’