TULSA — A thief broke into a car and stole a large moisture and density gauge that contains dangerous radioactive material, Tulsa police said Thursday.
The device was locked inside a vehicle in east Tulsa Wednesday night, and the car's owner discovered the gauge missing Thursday morning.
"The gauge contains nuclear material inside and could be harmful if someone breaks it open,” police said in a news release.
The device is manufactured by Humboldt Manufacturing and is used to measure moisture and density in soils, concrete and asphalt, said Tamla Warren, a sales manager with the company's office in North Carolina.
"Most people who steal these things have no idea what they have,” Warren said. "It does contain radioactive material, and it is under strict federal and state regulations for possession, use and shipping.”
The gauge contains Cesium 137, an extremely toxic radioactive isotope.