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Did Cruise Line Worker Moonlight as Burglar?

WEST PALM BEACH (CN) - A robbery victim claims a Royal Caribbean Cruises employee stole personal information about her while she worked for the cruise line, and then burglarized her home while she was at sea. The employee is suspected of doing the same thing to two dozen customers of the cruise line.

Diane Manella sued Royal Caribbean Cruises Palm Beach County Court. She claims it failed to do a sufficient background check on its employee, Bethsaida Sandoval, 38, who "had been previously arrested and charged with forgery and attempted grand theft, both felonies," according to the complaint.

Only the cruise line is named as a defendant.

CNN reported in June that Sandoval had been arrested and charged with 24 counts of burglary, in cities across Palm Beach County. In a homey note, the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office said at the time that Sandoval was suspected of doing the burglaries with her husband.

As a "vacation planner" for Royal Caribbean Cruises, Sandoval had access to customers' booking and cruise dates, their homes and phone numbers, according to the complaint.

The common factor among all 24 victims was that "they were all on vacation with Royal Caribbean," the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office told CNN.

Manella says her home was burglarized in March as she took a 7-day cruise on Royal Caribbean's "Liberty of the Seas."

She adds that Sandoval's arrest record was available to Royal Caribbean before it hired her. Royal Caribbean told a local CBS news station that its background checks on Sandoval found no convictions.

A cursory Internet search this morning found plenty of stories about Sandoval and her husband, including their arrests in June, but no mention of convictions.

Manella demands damages for negligence, lost property and emotional distress. She is represented by Mark Hanson with LaBovick & LaBovick of Palm Beach Gardens.

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