A burglar intent on stealing tools from a building under renovation may have been exposed to asbestos in a new twist on criminal justice. The house, located in Syracuse, New York, was filled with airborne asbestos.
In an article in the Syracuse Post-Standard, a report relates that the unnamed criminal knocked out a 3 foot by 3 foot hole in a brick wall to gain access to the building. Avoiding the doors and windows that were boarded with plywood, the burglar most likely did not notice of the numerous warning signs that cautioned that the building was in the process of asbestos remediation.
According to Bill McHale, foreman for Conifer-Le Chase Construction, the company charged with safely removing the asbestos, the building had containment areas and safe areas. It appears that the robber entered one of the containment areas in the building, which McHale says is “extremely dangerous” because it is laden with asbestos. McHale states that the robber put his health at risk by entering that section of the home.
The burglar got away with a number of expensive tools, but he may also have carried dangerous asbestos fibers out of the building with him. Asbestos is a very toxic mineral and the cause of mesothelioma, a deadly form of cancer that may take decades to develop after exposure.