Truck Carrying "Extremely Dangerous Radioactive Material" Stolen - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Truck Carrying "Extremely Dangerous Radioactive Material" Stolen In Mexico

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Washington, D.C. -

The headline sounds like it was ripped from the plot of a Hollywood thriller...

A truck carrying "extremely dangerous radioactive material" was stolen in Mexico and authorities are scrambling to track it down.

The truck was carrying Cobalt-60A radioactive, isotope used in cancer treatments and to sterilize medical equipment. It was stolen by two armed men at a gas station 35 miles outside of Mexico City on Monday, hundreds of miles from the U.S.-Mexico border.

"This isn't like radioactive material stolen from a nuclear power plant," says former FBI agent and ABC News consultant Brad Garrett.

The truck was traveling from a hospital in the northern Mexico city of Tijuana to a radioactive waste stroage facility.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said in a statement that when the truck was stolen, "the source was properly shielded. However, the source could be extremely dangerous to a person if removed from the shielding, or if it was damaged."

Mexican authorities are conducting a search for the vehicle and the material, but there's no indication from officials that the truck was headed for the border. U.S. law enforcement and Homeland Security officials are working closely with them.

Officials don't know who did it or if they are even aware of what they stole.

"Doesn't sound like, from what we know, it's not something you would steal if you were going to make a radioactive bomb," Garrett says.

U.S. officials said there was no reason to panic, but U.S Border Patrol agents armed with radiation detection equipment are on alert.

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