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Pennsylvania officials searching for nuclear device stolen from vehicle

Posted at 12:56 PM, Apr 18, 2022

PHILADELPHIA — The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is on the search for a missing nuclear device.

The portable nuclear gauge contains sources of radioactive material, the DEP said in a statement.

The device belongs to a construction inspection company. It is used to evaluate properties and road materials at construction sites.

It had been secured in a car that was stolen in Philadelphia.

The car was found, but the gauge was no longer inside.

Investigators believe whoever stole the vehicle may have discarded the device.

If the nuclear gauge is damaged or even hit by a vehicle, "there is potential for damage to the radioactive source and spread of contamination," the agency said.

The DEP warns that if anyone is to find the device, they should not handle it directly.

Instead, they should keep their distance and contact authorities or DEP’s Southeast Regional Office at 484-250-5900.

A trained individual will handle the nuclear device.

The gauge is described to be “yellow in color and about the size of a shoe box, with an electronic keypad and a metal rod extending from the top surface.”