Radioactive device reported stolen found in pawn shop

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) — A soil-testing device containing radioactive material has been located in a Connecticut pawn shop, hours after it was stolen from the trunk of a car.

Authorities say the moisture-density gauge was stolen Tuesday morning in Bridgeport from the car of a technician who works for HAKS, a New York-based consulting firm offering material testing services.

The device is used to test moisture density in soil. It contains enough cesium-137 and americium-241 to make a person ill, but not a lethal dose.

Police say the device was recovered Tuesday afternoon from a local pawn shop.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission was notified of the theft and had planned to send an inspector to the city on Thursday. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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