Device Containing Radioactive Material Stolen in Bridgeport Found at Pawn Shop

A device containing radioactive material stolen from a vehicle in Bridgeport earlier on Tuesday has been found, city officials said.

The nuclear gauge was stolen early Tuesday morning from the trunk of a vehicle owned by HAKS Material Testing Group, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The trunk was broken into and chains securing the device were cut.

The device containing small amounts of cesium-137 and americum-241 was found at East Coast Pawn on Glenwood Avenue, the NRC said.

Bridgeport city officals said a person is in custody at this time. 

The vehicle was parked on Douglas Street overnight and that is when it was broken into, according to police.

The device, which is worth $7,000, is used to measure ground density.

The radioactive material is sealed and protected as long as the gauge's handle is in the locked, shielded position, but if someone were to tamper with the device or if the radioactive material were unshielded, it could cause a dangerous radiation exposure, according to the NRC.

The victim's debit card was also stolen, and police said the suspect used the card at a Redbox at the Walgreens at 1000 Park Avenue around 5 a.m. A surveillance video captured the suspect using the card at the machine.

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