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Crime News

Thieves Who Stole Cobalt-60 Will Soon Be Dead 923

Posted by timothy
from the felony-suicide-rule dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "The Washington Post reports that the carjackers who set off international alarm bells by absconding with a truckload of highly radioactive cobalt-60, used in hospital radiotherapy machines, most likely had no idea what they were stealing and will die soon from exposure. The robbery occurred as the cobalt-60 was being driven from a public hospital in the border town of Tijuana to a storage facility in central Mexico. While waiting for daybreak at a gas station in the state of Hidalgo the drivers were jumped by two gunmen who beat them and stole the truck. "I believe, definitely, that the thieves did not know what they had; they were interested in the crane, in the vehicle," says Mardonio Jimenez, a physicist with Mexico's nuclear safety commission. The prospect that material that could be used in a radioactive dirty bomb had gone missing sparked an urgent two-day hunt that concluded when the material, cobalt-60, used in hospital radiotherapy machines, was found along with the stolen Volkswagen truck. The cobalt-60 was found, removed from its casing, in a rural area near the town of Hueypoxtla about 25 miles from where the truck was stolen. Jimenez suspects that curiosity got the better of the thieves and they opened the box. So far the carjackers have not been arrested, but authorities expect they will not live long. "The people who handled it will have severe problems with radiation. They will, without a doubt, die.""
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Thieves Who Stole Cobalt-60 Will Soon Be Dead

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  • Tough luck.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 05, 2013 @01:23PM (#45609279)

    Instant Karma is gonna get ya...

  • Re:Tough luck.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jythie (914043) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @01:25PM (#45609309)
    The karma in this case seems rather disproportional. Yeah, what they did was horrible, but death, esp such an ugly death, seems a bit out of balance.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 05, 2013 @01:29PM (#45609373)

    You've been watching too much tv

  • Re:Tough luck.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by casings (257363) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @01:30PM (#45609387)

    I completely and utterly disagree.

    You clearly haven't been the victim of any robberies at gunpoint. It is terrifying and life-changing and most victims usually end up with some sort of PTSD. It takes a sick and depraved mind to commit such acts, and those responsible fully deserve death. There are far too many people in this world to allow people who are willing to kill to continue to breathe the same air as the rest of the population.

  • News Flash (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 05, 2013 @01:33PM (#45609437)

    Every one of us will, without a doubt, die.

  • Re:Tough luck.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kirkb (158552) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @01:33PM (#45609443) Homepage

    Welcome to Mexico, where the highs and lows in life are disproportionately higher/lower than what first-world countries are used to.

  • Re:Tough luck.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gfxguy (98788) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @01:35PM (#45609487)
    I know a lot of people don't agree with us, but this isn't a case of stealing to feed your starving family; anyone willing to so wantonly disregard the rights of others for personal gain does not belong in our society.
  • Re:Tough luck.. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by backdoc (416006) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @01:39PM (#45609559)

    Here goes my karma....

    But, I agree completely, it's just poetic justice. And, it's less scum to worry about.

  • Re:Tough luck.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by chilvence (1210312) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @01:39PM (#45609575)

    Which is defined as Karma, for your convenience.

  • Re:Tough luck.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jythie (914043) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @01:43PM (#45609617)
    Having been jumped and beating unconscious, I still do not wish a painful horrible death on the people who did it.
  • by nimbius (983462) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @01:50PM (#45609747) Homepage
    the punishment is certainly dire, but mexicos lack of preventative efforts should be called into question. Was the vehicle marked as carrying radioactive cargo? why was there a layover of such dangerous material? were there warnings in multiple languages? pictographs from local health and safety agencies are surely readily available. the GHS is surely used in Mexico
    https://www.osha.gov/dsg/hazcom/ghs.html [osha.gov]
    two people are dead and numerous others exposed because they either did not know what the truck contained, or could not read the ample warnings. Mexico has a 93% literacy rate. [wikipedia.org] there is no excuse for this accident.
  • Re:Tough luck.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tibit (1762298) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @01:54PM (#45609807)

    Yeah, you see, but you're being rational about it. Others seem ready to be driven by unabated hate.

  • Re:Tough luck.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ash Vince (602485) * on Thursday December 05, 2013 @01:55PM (#45609813) Journal

    How badly would the drivers have had to been beaten for it to be more proportional?

    I thought the US was supposed to be a christian country and slashdot was supposed to be am mostly american site (I say mostly because I am actually british)?

    Didn't Jesus say:

      'You have heard that it was said, "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth". But I say to you, do not resist an evildoer. If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.'

    So in other words even though there are shitty people in the world then anyone who considers themselves a christian should strive to not seek revenge against such people by killing them or wishing them to be killed. Instead they should forgive and leave any judgment for the lord. Wishing an agonising death upon them would then surely never be proportional, no matter how harshly they beat their victims.

    But of course nobody in the US seems to actually give a shit about this part of Jesus' teachings or else you would not have the death penalty.

  • by ArcadeMan (2766669) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @01:59PM (#45609879)
    On a side note, Radioactive Man is the only man on the planet who's immune to Google Glass.
  • Re:Tough luck.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojoNO@SPAMworld3.net> on Thursday December 05, 2013 @02:06PM (#45609979) Homepage

    Did you ever wonder what motivates people to take such extreme and risky actions? It isn't because they are evil or "bad guys".

  • Re:Tough luck.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jythie (914043) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @02:08PM (#45610007)
    Not really no. Caught and punished yes. killed? No.
  • by mcgrew (92797) * on Thursday December 05, 2013 @02:10PM (#45610051) Homepage Journal

    I bet you'd learn some interesting things about who does drugs once the casualties start to pile up.

    Indeed, there have been cops, judges, and prosecuters in the news in Illinois in the last year who were busted for cocaine. There are the mayor of that Canadian city and the ex-mayor of DC. Look at Rush Limbaugh.

    I look at "war on drugs" politicians like I look at right wing politicians who constantly decry homosexuality, how many of them have been kicked out of the closet?

    I don't know if the GP is an idiot, a troll, or a government shill. He advocates a painful death for drug users? I smoke pot and advocate HIS death. Alcohol, tobacco, and coffee are all addictive drugs. Marijuana is not.

    All of society's problems that are attributed to drugs are really problems that stem from the laws against them.

  • Re:Tough luck.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mlts (1038732) * on Thursday December 05, 2013 @02:13PM (#45610095)

    Being the one beaten is one thing.

    Being a friend or relative of the one attacked usually is far worse. Stuff like having a friend's son whom you grew up with tasered to death (the thieves wanted to know "where the valuables were", and kept pulling the trigger until the victim's heart gave out) makes one not really empathetic with violent criminals who do this sort of stuff.

  • by schlachter (862210) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @02:16PM (#45610133)

    they have guns right? It's up to them how painful and horrible it is.
    it can be quick and painless if they like.

  • Re:Tough luck.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ravaldy (2621787) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @02:16PM (#45610149)

    I don't think this one was karma but rather Darwinism. I'm sure the containers had plenty of warnings. They were crooked and DUMB.

  • by thunderclap (972782) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @02:17PM (#45610159)
    Um thats all fiction. No, radioactive metal looks like normal metal, feels like normal metal and smells like normal metal. It simply kills you in 48 hrs. Violently with lots of hair loss and vomiting blood.
  • Re:Tough luck.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @02:18PM (#45610175) Homepage

    It isn't always because they are evil or "bad guys".

    FTFY.

  • Re:Tough luck.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by amicusNYCL (1538833) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @02:21PM (#45610247)

    Did you ever wonder what motivates people to take such extreme and risky actions? It isn't because they are evil or "bad guys".

    Really? You're saying that the single best course of action they had available to them was to beat those guys and steal the truck? That, in addition, any rational person put in their situation would choose the exact same course of action?

    Sort of makes you wonder why they chose to beat the two guys instead of just force them at gunpoint to be tied up. They must have had literally no other choice.

  • by mythosaz (572040) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @02:22PM (#45610259)

    They will, without a doubt, die...

    ...eventually. Like everyone else on the planet.

    Or at least 93% of us, since 7% of all humans who have ever existed are alive today.

  • Re:Tough luck.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by oodaloop (1229816) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @02:31PM (#45610365)

    The karma is not for what they did but what they could have done with it.

    Good point. And your mom should be charged with prostitution, because she could do it.

  • Re:Tough luck.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by TheCarp (96830) <[ten.tenaprac] [ta] [cjs]> on Thursday December 05, 2013 @02:45PM (#45610585) Homepage

    > Sort of makes you wonder why they chose to beat the two guys instead of just force them at
    > gunpoint to be tied up. They must have had literally no other choice.

    You are likely far smarter and more well educated than them. I have met a few people who were, at one point or another, in the general category of criminal who would commit this kind of crime. It is a somewhat diverse group but.... they tend to be kinda dumb, and often have all sorts of issues.

    People don't just go through a normal well adjusted life and then one day be like "I am a criminal now" I mean... they do for some "crimes" like.... smoking pot; but not stuff like this.

  • Re:Tough luck.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CrimsonAvenger (580665) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @02:54PM (#45610717)

    but this isn't a case of stealing to feed your starving family;

    Just curious - how do you know the motives of the thieves? Don't believe I've seen any interviews with them where motive was discussed...

  • Re:Tough luck.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sardaukar86 (850333) <cam@NOSpam.todaystlc.com> on Thursday December 05, 2013 @02:55PM (#45610721) Homepage

    The dirty bomb, as a weapon of mass destruction, is a myth.

    Absolutely correct, however a dirty bomb isn't really a weapon of mass destruction, it's a weapon of terror. Given the fear economy that has been driving the US for the last decade or so, I imagine it would be a highly effective weapon too.

  • Re:Tough luck.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Penguinisto (415985) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @03:05PM (#45610869) Journal

    This, right here.

    There is no call for capital punishment on a carjacker. However, if a couple of them die painfully after giving a couple of innocent folks a severe beating, doing so at gunpoint, and all because they were too dumbassed to ignore the warnings splayed all over the container?

    I really cannot bring myself to feel bad about the outcome.

    For those who feel otherwise, look at it this way: When you use a lethal weapon to commit a crime, you state to the world that you are willing to kill innocent people in order to get what you want, no matter what. From the moment when you point that gun at someone, your life is automatically forfeit should you die as a result of committing that crime. It doesn't matter if you died instantly because the victim shot back, or because every orifice you have is slowly bleeding out of your swollen body due to radiation exposure... you got what was coming to you.

    Oh, you're dying a painful death from the stuff you stole and some bleeding-heart type on Slashdot says I should show you some sympathy? Okay: you'll find sympathy in the dictionary between "shit" and "syphilis".

    On the plus side, maybe the next person contemplating violent acts to get what they want will think twice because of these two Darwin Award winners?

  • Serves them right (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shentino (1139071) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @03:06PM (#45610893)

    They stole a truck with no idea of the cargo's value or importance, and probably didn't even care if someone else could die if they stole it. It might have been medical supplies, vaccines, food rations, anything. And if they'd gotten involved in a high speed pursuit they could have killed someone just running away. Not to mention their willingness to threaten deadly force in the act, which would have given the driver grounds to use the same in self defense, even without the cargo being lethal.

    Which would itself only increase any self defense fatality in being justified if the thieves had gotten shot.

    They jacked a rig, had no concern for the value of human life, and it bit them in the ass. To be blunt, they had it coming.

    The fact that the authorities aren't even going to be responsible for punishing them means they have nobody to blame but themselves.

  • Re:Tough luck.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheCarp (96830) <[ten.tenaprac] [ta] [cjs]> on Thursday December 05, 2013 @03:13PM (#45610985) Homepage

    Sheesh? All I was suggesting is that asking why they choose one method of theft over another is, well.... because they are likely dumb and it didn't even occur to them.

    It might be worth considering that just because a person is wrong doesn't mean that is the end of the story. Criminals are generally a symptom of larger social issues. Morality is nice and all, but, just stopping at the morality of it and deciding they were wrong; is simultaneously correct and useless. You may as well be pointing out that water is wet.

  • Re:Tough luck.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Obfuscant (592200) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @03:18PM (#45611085)

    I looked at a datasheet for cobalt 60 apparently you have to come into physical contact. Looking at it shouldn't do them much harm.

    Interesting then that the cobalt 60 machines used in medical therapy don't put the patient in direct contact with the stuff. It must be magic. Cancers can detect the boogeyman at the door and die from fright, never getting actually touched by this magical medical miracle.

  • by Marrow (195242) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @03:26PM (#45611201)

    doesnt the danger remain? The total rads you get is not as important is not as important as how you get those rads. If you inhale a particle, your body cannot dispel it and it will mutate your genes and kill you with cancer. Even minimal radiation, if constantly directed at you by an internalized particle will still kill you.

  • Re:Tough luck.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Archangel Michael (180766) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @03:33PM (#45611329) Journal

    It isn't hate. There is an equally rational side that suggest that painful death as a consequence/punishment of violent crime DOES have a deterrent effect, even if minor. Anyone that commits violent acts, does not deserve the continuing protection from society. However, we, as society, recognize that our judicial system is flawed even at its best and thus, try every means possible to keep people alive, even when it is clear that they have no benefit to our society. And that is also completely rational.

    However, when nature takes over, I have NO sympathies for those about to die a slow painful death. My sympathies are to their families to the extent that they lost a "loved one". Love, is also not rational, which is why people can love and care for people who are so depraved they deserve no such devotion.

  • Re:Tough luck.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland@@@yahoo...com> on Thursday December 05, 2013 @03:34PM (#45611337) Homepage Journal

    Death for Stealing a truck.
    that's not poetic justice, or poetic, or justice.

    Poetic justice would have been if the truck they stole had been stolen and they got pulled over because of the first theft.

    I"m more worried about the scum that thing Justice for stealing a truck is death then I am about people who steal trucks.

    Please learn to apply critical thinking skills to you're current mode of what I will generously call thinking.

  • Re:Tough luck.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland@@@yahoo...com> on Thursday December 05, 2013 @03:40PM (#45611507) Homepage Journal

    OTOH, a Mexican Cartel might have threatened to kill their families if they didn't get a lot of money.
    Like what was said 'Motives unknown' at this time.

  • Re:Tough luck.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Sardaukar86 (850333) <cam@NOSpam.todaystlc.com> on Thursday December 05, 2013 @03:40PM (#45611523) Homepage

    yeah but dude your stance in favor of EXECUTION as punishment for MUGGING is not justifiable to anyone with a shred of human decency. get a grip.

    This wasn't a simple mugging and it's disingenuous for you to frame it as such. This was a violent hijacking by two sadistic individuals whose actions will have lasting effects on their unfortunate victims. Gfxguy's comment above captures our concerns perfectly - they are dysfunctional, dangerous members of society and statistically speaking these people do not change.

    How do you rehabilitate someone who gets great pleasure in (effectively) torturing innocent people?

  • by hey! (33014) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @04:12PM (#45611951) Homepage Journal

    They're going to die a horrific, slow, and painful death. While I agree they brought it upon themselves, the picture of what they're likely to go through brings me no pleasure or satisfaction.

  • Re:Tough luck.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Valdrax (32670) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @04:30PM (#45612151)

    Excuse me Euroweenie. The death penalty is about as direct eye for an eye and you are likely to see. This punishment is reserved for the worst of the worst.

    Do you not remember John 7:53-8:11, the story of the adultress to be stoned? Jesus was not in favor of capital punishment ("Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."), and was in favor of forgiveness as a general principle.

    At that, it's is almost totally unused in the states, with the exception of a few states. An in the cases where it is applied, this is always after numerous expensive appeals.

    The death penalty is still in effect in 32 out of 50 states and at the federal level. 3 of the states which banned it recently have not done so retroactively, leaving prisoners still awaiting their execution. While Texas is an extreme outlier for executions, 10 states have had an average of 1 execution per year or more since the penalty was reestablished in 1976. The South as a whole has executed over 1100 people since then.

    So we may disagree on this, but to characterize the US as a bunch of death penalty fiends is completely absurd.

    And yet we're the only Western country that still has the death penalty; most of the civilized world has given it up. We're also the Western country with (by far) the highest rate of incarceration and the longest prison sentences. We're also one of the few that allows the use of plea bargaining to compel guilty pleas, and many of our states disenfranchise felons, which is also rare in Western democracies. Gallup polls show that 57% of Americans still support the death penalty (down from a peak of around 80% in 1994.)

    Over all, we're a very harsh regime when it comes to law enforcement, and the death penalty is just part and parcel of a nation that believes on some level that criminals aren't human and don't deserve to be treated as such. Punishment is part of our culture, not rehabilitation, and certainly not Christian forgiveness.

  • Re:Tough luck.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tftp (111690) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @04:51PM (#45612387) Homepage

    "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

    This is a Sophists' phrase, and it is an unnecessary constraint. Why would a man who failed to pray on $holy_day be prevented from punishing a rapist? Both men are sinners.

    I, personally, do not worry if the judge is a sinner. The only requirement is that he judges fairly and by the law. I do not care if he has plans on the wife of his neighbor, or that he stole a cookie when he was 5 years old. Some say that it's hard to be honest from 9 to 5 and not so honest from 5 to 9. It may be so. However if a person can do the job, that's the only thing that matters.

  • by bondsbw (888959) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @05:45PM (#45613033)

    Indeed, death implies an end. Syfy shows rarely have a proper ending.

  • Re:Tough luck.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Nyder (754090) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @05:56PM (#45613177) Journal

    My mother was a drunkard and crazy. I was 12 and had to feed her and my two brothers.
    Yeah, I stole. Robbed bread trucks, soda trucks, I would go into busy pizza places and just grab a pie off the counter and walk out.
    It was always a last resort, it was always about basic survival.
    And if I had to do it again, I would.

    You clearly had other avenues to get food and shelter.

    You know if you sold one of your brothers you would of made enough money to live off for awhile, till you sold the remaining brother.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve immortality through not dying. -- Woody Allen

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