Dangerous handheld x-ray device is stolen from van
GARDAI investigating the theft of an industrial handheld x-ray device from a van left overnight in a hotel car park have warned that it is dangerous.
The equipment, which is understood to have been rented, was taken from a white van parked in the car park of the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Green Park, Dundalk.
It was taken during the break-in sometime between 10pm on Wednesday and 9am yesterday.
Gardai in Dundalk have warned the public that the device is dangerous as it emits radiation and should only be used by trained personnel.
The device, manufactured by Geotech, is an Innov-Xalpha Series XRF model and was in a case when taken. The machine is used in the construction industry to measure the density of metal and other elements in soil and liquids, to analyse cement and to sort scrap metal.
Gardai are appealing for witnesses or anyone who may have any information to contact officers at Dundalk on 042-9388400, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any station.
A spokesperson from the Environmental Protection Agency said that if the device was not switched on it would be 'relatively safe' and would not be emitting radiation.
However, she said if somebody comes across it or has it, their advice would be to "put it down and walk away and contact the gardai."
She added that devices of this type generally need a pin number to be turned on.
It is not the first time radioative material has been stolen.
Last October, seven lightning preventers were stolen during the course of burglary in Swords, north Dublin.
The seven spikes had been stored under lock and key and had been scheduled to be recycled in Germany.
The Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland said at the time: "If handled they will cause radioactive contamination to the person's hands and clothing with the possibly of internal radioactive contamination.
"Close proximity will result in a person exceeding the annual radiation dose limit in a matter of hours".
The rods were never recovered.