According to Huntsville police, each one of the 24 barrels stolen contained 17 gallons of the metal powder. The total cost of the stolen powder is believed to be around $186,000. Surveillance footage reveals that the powder was loaded into a trailer believed to be a “triple axle utility trailer with high walls,” according to media reports. The trailer is believed to have been pulled by a dark-colored “Ford F-350 with a camper shell.”
Tungsten powder can be used as a component of explosives, raising concern from both locals and authorities over the theft.
"It just kind of makes me a little tense, like everything that's going on, there are so many people, so many schools around here. It could be just awful so I just … makes me worry about people's safety," Davey Leetch, who lives in the nearby city of Madison, told local news station WAAY31.
According to reports, the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the FBI are both involved in the investigation.
If caught, the thieves will be charged with third-degree burglary. According to Bradford Ladner, an Alabama law firm, “a person commits the crime of burglary third-degree and Alabama when they knowingly enter or remain unlawfully in a building with the intent to commit any crime while they are in the building.”
In Alabama, third-degree burglaries are considered class C felonies and punishable by a prison sentence of up to 10 years.