Press Release

GERMANTOWN, MD (September 11, 2002) – Maryland’s Department of the Environment (MDE) and local law enforcement authorities have issued a public alert to report the theft of three civilian-use radiological devices. A Cobalt-57 source from a lead paint analyzer was taken last week from a private residence in Montgomery County while two moisture density gauges containing nuclear material are still missing after being stolen from an asphalt manufacturing plant in Prince George's County recently.

Apex Environmental Incorporated reports the lead paint analyzer – a Radiation Monitoring Devices Inc. model LPA-1, which contains a 12-millicurie Cobalt-57 source -- was taken from an employee’s vehicle parked near his residence on Sommer Song Lane in Germantown the morning of Sept. 5. The device, which resembles a ray gun, is gray in color and measures approximately 10 inches in length, 9½ inches at its highest point and 5 inches wide. It weighs approximately two pounds and was in its black 19”x14”x 8½” case when it was stolen.

The two Troxler Model 4640 moisture density gauges, serial numbers 2412 and 1726, were taken from the F.O. Day asphalt manufacturing plant located at 8700 D'Arcy Road in Forrestville (Prince George’s County) sometime between late August 23 and 6:30 a.m. August 26. The gauges contain small amounts of radioactive material and are used to measure moisture and compaction in soils, concrete, asphalt and other aggregates. The devices are reported to be in the locked position. The yellow transport cases were not stolen. The devices are not a hazard to the public as long as the radioactive material remains locked in the gauges. The gauges are yellow in color, weigh about 30 pounds and the gauge dimensions are approximately 18"x2"x6" with an 11-inch handle. The radioactive material contained is Cesium-137 on an extendable rod and Americium-241 encased inside the gauges. A padlock is normally used to secure the Cesium-137 source in its shielded position when not in use.

Anyone finding these devices or having information on their whereabouts should report it immediately to the Montgomery County Police (Officer McDaniel) at (301) 279-1591; George Forrest at Apex Environmental Inc. at (301) 417-0277; the Prince George's County Police Department at (301) 333-4000; Larry Crouse of F.O. Day Company at (301) 652-2400 ext. 110; or MDE's Radiological Health Program at (410) 537-3300.

4640 in use

The Troxler Model 4640 surface moisture density gauge out of its carrying case.

The RMD Lead Paint Analyzer model LPA-1 out of its case

The RMD Lead Paint Analyzer model LPA-1 out of its case.

Editor's Note

To get better images of the missing devices go to: or