CORVALLIS, Ore. (KMTR) -- Oregon State Police explosive technicians have recovered a $75,000 ocean research device stolen over the weekend after responding to report of a suspicious object left on the OSU campus Wednesday morning.
Around 6 AM Wednesday morning, May 23, 2012, OSP received a call from an OSU employee about a container in the parking lot to the south of the Kerr Administration. The device was retrieved from a parking lot on the OSU campus near 15th, Jefferson Street and Washington Streets.
Explosive technicians cordoned off the area and used a robot to examine the container. Technicians determined the container was not explosive and contained the stolen $75,000 hyperpro radiometer along with several cables that are used with it.
The device, which is used to measure the clarity of light in ocean water, was originally stolen on Saturday, May 19, 2012. Corvallis Police said someone smashed the window to an OSU-owned van housing the item. The van was parked in the 1500 block of Highland Drive, outside a researcher’s home.
Professor Ricardo Letelier of the OSU College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences says the item appears to be in good condition.
Corvallis Police are continuing to investigate the case. If you have any information on the incident, contact Corvallis Police at 541 766-6924.
(Original story on the theft published May 22, 2012)
CORVALLIS, Ore. (KMTR) -- An Oregon State University team is reeling, asking the public for help finding a $75,000 ocean research device that was stolen over the weekend.
The stolen device is called a hyperpro radiometer. The device is an all-black, three-pronged piece of metal with tubes, cables and sensors used to measure the clarity of light in ocean water.
In all, the device and accessories about $75,000. However, OSU scientists say the stolen items are almost worthless and useless to the average person, as only a small community of ocean researchers would even know what it is, much less get any use out of it, and none would buy one on the black market.
“It would take us a long time to replace it and it's a very strong blow to our research not having it,” says Professor Ricardo Letelier of the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences.
Professor Letelier said the device is invaluable for their research, measuring data that allows scientists to determine what is in ocean water and how it affects plant life.
OSU has three of the devices, one in Chile, one in Hawaii and another in Oregon. Scientists say missing one puts a big damper on OSU's ocean research. "The one that they stole is used heavily during the summer off of the Oregon Coast,” said Professor Letelier. “There are very few people in the world that would use it or be interested in having one of them and we know each other because we all work together, so there is no way this is of any value to anyone apart from the person that will be doing the measurements at sea.”
Corvallis Police reported the device was taken Saturday, May 19, 2012 from a van parked in the 1500-block of Highland Drive, off of the OSU campus.
“Any piece of equipment like that or any high dollar loss like that we want to try to recover the item as quickly as possible,” says Lieutenant Tim Brewer withthe Corvallis Police Department. “The item really is not useful to anyone other than an oceanographer or someone that would work with the scientific studies in the ocean, highly specialized piece of equipment.”
The stolen device was in a large metal case with the word “Satlantic” on the front. Thieves also took a giant white marine-style cooler from the van, full of fiber-optic cables which also have virtually no resale value.
OSU is still working to see if the device is insured.
If you have any information on the stolen radiometer, contact Corvallis Police at 541 766-6924.