Police have sent a warning to burglars not to open equipment they stole from a Southampton building site as it contains harmful asbestos.

More than £11,000 of equipment was stolen from the Somborne House site in Weston Lane between 3:45pm on Wednesday January 22nd and 7:45am on the 23rd, including drills, jet washers and grinders.

Among the items stolen were two negative pressure units used to collect asbestos dust. Each was marked ‘Caution Asbestos Hazard’. The site is currently being prepared for demolition and a specialist company is removing the asbestos, and the containers would normally have been sent away to be emptied. If the burglars open the containers they will be contaminated with the substance.

Officers have asked the burglars to let them know where the containers are so that they can be disposed of safely. They have also suggested that they seek medical attention if they have into contact with the potentially lethal substance, and to carefully get rid of any clothing they were wearing that may still have asbestos particles on it.

If anyone thinks they may have been offered any of the stolen equipment for sale or has information on the crime, they are urged to call Bitterne Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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