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‘Radioactive’ Label On Stolen Box Sets Off Lafayette Hazmat Scare

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LAFAYETTE (CBS SF) – A box labeled “radioactive” that was found outside a Lafayette car repair shop Tuesday morning, causing a brief scare and road closures, had been stolen from a Walnut Creek business on Monday night, a Contra Costa County 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 County 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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