Monterrey, Mexico, Aug 3 – Mexican authorities issued an alert Wednesday after thieves stole a piece of academic research equipment containing potentially dangerous radioactive material — at least the seventh such incident here since 2013.
The thieves grabbed the nuclear densometer from the back of a truck in a shopping center parking lot in the northern city of Monterrey as the driver had a bite to eat at a fast food restaurant, the Mexican interior ministry said.
The device, used to measure soil density, belongs to the civil engineering department at the Nuevo Leon state university, and contains nuclear material that is “highly dangerous” if not handled properly, the state government said.
At least seven civilian devices containing radioactive material have been stolen since 2013 in Mexico, a country dogged by high crime rates and powerful criminal gangs.
So far all the devices have been recovered.