UPDATE: ‘Radioactive’ Package Had Been Stolen from Walnut Creek Business

December 10, 2013 18:05 pm · 11 comments

A box labeled “radioactive” that was found outside a Lafayette car repair shop this morning, causing a brief scare and road closures, had been stolen from a Walnut Creek business on Monday night, a Contra Costa sheriff’s spokesman said.

The bright-green box, marked with a “radioactive” sticker, was spotted by employees at Lafayette Auto Repair at 3410 Mt. Diablo Blvd., and they reported it to police around 8:20 a.m., Contra Costa sheriff’s spokesman Jimmy Lee said.

Lee said the box was reported stolen from a business in Walnut Creek on Monday night, and that employees from the business went to Lafayette this morning to retrieve it. He declined to name the business.

Police and fire crews arrived at the scene shortly after box was discovered this morning, and shut down the intersection of Mt. Diablo Boulevard and Brown Avenue while hazardous materials personnel from the California Emergency Management Agency were called in to investigate, Lee said.

An inspection of the box found that it contained a ground-penetrating radar, Lee said. Such radars are used to capture three-dimensional images of underground surfaces.

The hazmat team determined that the radar was not dangerous, Lee said.

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1 Claire December 10, 2013 at 6:48 PM

People will steal anything. I don’t know a lot about ground penetrating radar, but I guess someone had a use for it.

Good thing it wasn’t dangerous….

2 Jojo Potato December 10, 2013 at 6:57 PM

Maybe the “radioactive” sticker was just put on the case so that thieves would have second thoughts. Where can I get some?

3 Roberto December 10, 2013 at 8:11 PM

Years ago I used a diaper bag to conceal my camera. I padded the bottom of the bag with a melted ice pack, an additional disincentive to theves.
Good deterrents are crime stoppers.

This whole story sounds like something from a police procedural comedy starting with Bevis and Butthead’s discovery of the Radioactive label followed by a desperate trip to get rid of the package. The second scene sees law enforcement shutting down the area only to find nothing.

Truth is the machine was radioactive like a badass microwave oven without a door.
I would imagine that a ground penetrating radar could cook a turkey three feet away in short order.

4 Marcus December 10, 2013 at 9:29 PM

This is a weird story.

5 mika December 10, 2013 at 9:39 PM

Start putting ‘Hazardous materials’ or ‘medical waste’ labels on packages. May prevent a theft, if the thief can read. Or understand what it means.

6 Piffle December 10, 2013 at 10:11 PM

Reminds me of that story about the stolen truck that was found & nuclear waste material aboard was found a short distance away, it had been opened. Experts say the thief or thieves are probably dead now.

7 eyewhen December 10, 2013 at 10:58 PM

@ Roberto

Do you talk just to hear yourself speak? What value did you add to this thread? Nothing you wrote is neither based on fact or relevant in any way.

And before anyone jumps to his defence, save it… I will not be revisiting this thread.

8 Steve December 10, 2013 at 11:08 PM


if “adding value” was a prerequisite, 95% of these posts would be deleted, including this one.

This is a public blog.

Defense is spelled defense, not defence.

9 Cowellian December 11, 2013 at 8:07 AM

I’ve got to say that I rather enjoyed the imagery of cooking a turkey with radar.

10 anon December 11, 2013 at 8:10 AM

@7 “Defence?” Trying for Middle-class Twit of the Year again?

11 Dominic T December 11, 2013 at 9:07 AM

@ eyewhen (#7)

Just because you’re not revisiting a thread doesn’t mean you’re not a moron.

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