HEALTH ALERT: Radioactive device goes missing in Dinwiddie - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

HEALTH ALERT: Radioactive device goes missing in Dinwiddie

DINWIDDIE, VA (WWBT) -

The Virginia Department of Health is searching for a device containing radioactive material that went missing in Dinwiddie County Wednesday.

Crews were working at a jobsite in the 4000 block of Chesdin Boulevard. A Troxler moisture density gauge, in a yellow case about 10 inches wide and 15 inches long with a chrome handle, was said to initially have been stolen from a Ford Ranger pickup truck.

"Is it around here?" questioned Laquisha Ampy who lives along Chesdin Boulevard. "Is it a danger to us?"

The Ampy family is now concerned after workers say a bright yellow case containing a moisture density meter went missing.

The meter contains radioactive material that can be hazardous if the device is not in the case, is damaged or used by someone.

"We have 5 kids in this house," said Kenneth Ampy. "That's kind of scary."

We tried flagging down police in the area, but we were unsuccessful. A health department official did open his home to us late Wednesday night. He tried to explained what happened while workers were replacing water pipes.

"While at the job site he placed the gauge in the back of his truck," said Mike Welling who is Director of the Radioactive Materials Program at the health department. "When he went back to the truck the gauge had disappeared. It was stolen."

Officials later sent out a release that provided new information.

"Dinwiddie officials have credible information that may indicate the device was seen at the intersection of Olgers Road and US route 460 (Cox Road) after it fell from a small white pick-up, possibly a Ford Ranger," read the statement. "However, officials have searched the area without locating the device."

The public is urged to not touch or open the case.

"What we are asking is if the public finds it to notify us so we can properly secure it and give it back to the rightful owners," said Welling. "The possibility exists that if somebody opens the case and decides to investigate and play with the gauge they could get a small amount of exposure to radiation sources, not life threatening, but a small amount of radiation."

The model number is 3411 and the serial number is 9386.

If found, please contact police immediately.

Copyright 2013 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.

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