OKC Police Search For Stolen Trailer Containing Radioactive Material

Thursday, December 18th 2014, 6:38 pm
By: News 9

Police need the public's help in searching for a missing nuclear testing device, which was stolen from a hotel parking lot this week.

Investigators say the device, which contains potentially dangerous radioactive material was inside a trailer.

So far police say they don't have any leads in this case. It happened in a well-traveled area that has seen a recent spike in trailer thefts.

Gone overnight, a man staying at a Holiday Inn Express off I-40 and Meridian says his 10-foot box trailer was stolen and worth $10,000.

"He said the trailer was hooked up to his truck, was locked, had out-of-state plates, and he said he had absolutely no idea how they were able to steal it," said Jennifer Wardlow, Oklahoma City Police Dept.

The victim says he was parked right in front of the hotel entrance doors. He believes it was taken sometime between late Monday night to early Tuesday morning, when he discovered it was missing.

The trailer has a Kentucky license plate and belongs to Missouri-based company, Midwest Testing.

Inside the trailer was a Humboldt Scientific 5001 EZ gauge, a device used to measure soil density and water content, often used in construction. It contains radioactive isotopes, but the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) says risk to the public is low.

"The gauge, if it were opened, does have a radioactive source in it. It's a very, very small amount, which really doesn't pose a threat. We just like to err on the side of caution," says Erin Hatfield of DEQ.

The gauge was locked inside a yellow box with a nuclear warning sign on it. The box that has two locks and is difficult to open.

"It doesn't pose a significant threat, and you would have to get that opened to be exposed, so we want to be cautious and hope that it's returned," said Hatfield.

Detectives don't have a suspect. If you have any information, you're asked to call police.

The trailer has Kentucky license plate 624-274.The owner is offering a $500 reward for the gauge's return.