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Device with nuclear material stolen with car, North Vancouver RCMP warn

Anyone who spots the device should leave it in its case and call police.

North Vancouver RCMP are warning the public after a thief inadvertently stole equipment containing potentially dangerous radioactive material.

Around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, someone stole a 2006 Mazda 6 that was parked under the gym at the International Plaza on the 1000 block of Marine Drive.

Inside the car was a nuclear soil moisture density gauge, a piece of industrial equipment used in construction and mining that could post health risks to anyone who doesn’t know how to properly handle it.

The stolen device, a Troxler 3430, may emit gamma radiation, which can damage human cells within 24 hours if not properly contained. The device is likely not a threat to the wider public, police say.

North Vancouver RCMP Const. Mansoor Sahak said it’s unlikely the thief knew what they were taking, and investigators are urging anyone who spots the car or the gauge to call police immediately. Anyone who finds the device should leave it sealed inside its case.

“We are investigating the theft and are asking anyone with information on the incident or whereabouts of the vehicle or the nuclear gauge to call our non-emergency line at 604-985-1311,” a release stated.

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