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27 January 2014, 19:04 | Updated: 27 January 2014, 19:09
Police in Southampton are warning burglars not to open up some equipment they stole from a break-in at a building site because it contains hazardous asbestos.
In all more the £11,000 worth of equipment, from Dewalt drills and Karacher jet washers to grinders, were take from the site at Somborne House in Weston Lane between 3.45 pm on Wednesday, January 22 and 7.45am on Thursday, January 23.
The site is currently being prepared for demolition and a specialist company are removing asbestos.
Among the items taken were two negative pressure units which are used to collect asbestos dust and particles. They are 18 inches by 18 inches and marked ‘Caution Asbestos Hazard’. When stolen they contained asbestos and when full are sent away to be emptied. If they are opened by the burglars they will be contaminated by the potentially deadly substance.
Officers are warning the burglars not to open them and let them know where they are so they can be dealt with properly.
They are also advising them that if they have opened the machines they should carefully bag up and dispose of any clothes they were wearing as they may have the dangerous particles on them which could affect them or anyone else they come into close contact with.
They should also seek medical advice as exposure to even a tiny amount of asbestos dust can cause serious illness in the long term.
Police would also like to hear from anyone who thinks they may have been offered any of the equipment for sale or has any information about the crime.
They are asked to call Bitterne police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.