NZ Police confirm that a soil moisture density gauge that contains low level radioactive sources has been stolen from a vehicle in Auckland on Thursday (20 Dec).
The Police are asking the public for help in finding this instrument. Anyone who finds this device should avoid directly handling it, and contact the Police immediately.
The density gauge is commonly used in civil engineering, road building and agriculture.
The Ministry of Health’s Office of Radiation Safety advises the item contains two low level radioactive sources (Cs-137 and Am-241). The instrument presents no harm to the public when kept in its protective case or when it is used as intended.
The Ministry warns that the device should not be tampered with. Tampering with the instrument or its protective lead shielding may pose some immediate risk to anyone doing so.
Below are some images of what the instrument and transport case look like: