A box containing radioactive material was stolen from a truck over the weekend, and San Diego Police warned Sunday that exposure to the radiation for as little as two hours could prove harmful.
The box was which was clearly marked as containing radioactive material. It was stolen some time between Friday and Saturday from a white Toyota pickup truck parked at 4400 block of Marlborough Avenue in East San Diego, police Sgt. Jim Clear said. The wooden box, which measures about 2 feet by 3 feet, contained a surface density gauge that uses low-level radioactive isotopes.
"The box itself is safe, unless it is dismantled or activated. If it is handled for over two hours, permanent damage could result to the part of the body that is exposed to the radiation," Clear said.
In addition to the potentially harmful container, the thief or thieves also took a car stereo and the truck owner's briefcase, police said.