Man faces charges in theft of radioactive device

Carlos Hernandez, 28, was arrested Tuesday at the East Coast Pawn shop on Glenwood Avenue.

Carlos Hernandez, 28, was arrested Tuesday at the East Coast Pawn shop on Glenwood Avenue. (7/27/16)

BRIDGEPORT - The man who police say stole a device that contains radioactive material appeared in court Wednesday but refused to face the judge.

Carlos Hernandez, 28, was arrested Tuesday at the East Coast Pawn shop on Glenwood Avenue after investigators say he took a soil testing device worth nearly $7,000 from a vehicle.

Police say Hernandez also stole the victim's debit card and was caught on surveillance video a short time later trying to use it.

Police alerted local pawn shops to be on the lookout for the device.

"We do this in a lot of burglary and larceny investigations where we think items that are stolen might turn up in pawn shops, and most of the pawn shops in the city are cooperative with police," says Capt. Brian Fitzgerald.

Authorities say the device could be dangerous if someone tampers with the radioactive material, but they determined that did not happen.

During his arraignment in Bridgeport Wednesday, Hernandez sat in the back of the courtroom facing a wall. He refused to move or face the judge, saying that he did not wish to appear on television. 

Rather than risk injury to court officers, Judge William Holden went on with the court proceedings.

Judge Holden says Hernandez is facing a variety of charges form cities in other states, ranging from larceny to evading arrest.

Bond is set at $50,000 for the latest charges.

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