Journal of Popular Science (a magazine rather similar in level and coverage to New Scientist), volume 1, 1836, page 208, in the "Miscellaneous Intelligence" section:
About two years ago, in the warehouse of Mr. Johnson, Chemical-manufacturer, in Hatton Garden, 50oz. of Oxide of Uranium were put into as many half-ounce bottles, each bottle wrapped in paper, and put into a drawer, in a counter. The premises having been injured by an accidental fire, the floor of the room was in which the oxide was kept was taken up, about six weeks ago; between the floor boards and the ceiling of the room beneath, were found deposited, twenty-eight of the above bottles, and two others. The paper wrappers had been removed, and the outsides of the bottles were dirty, but the corks were sound, except a few which had been slightly nibbled, and the contents of the bottles were untouched. The other two bottles, containing Tungstic Acid, were also found corked, and untouched. The removal of these bottles had been effected by rats. The counter was nearly destroyed by the fire, but the workman who made it recollected that it had no back-casing, and that the oxide-drawer did not go close up to the division which separated it from the drawer above; so that a long aperture between them was left; through this the rats had entered. They then must have lifted the bottles, passed them through the aperture over the back of the drawer, and dropped or lowered them down to the floor, and afterwards dragged them to their deposit.
But what was the inducement to commit the robbery? The oxide of uranium is inodorous and tasteless, though of the latter quality they could not be aware, as all the bottles were found tightly corked, and the enclosed quantities were evidently the same as when put into the drawer.
A deficit in the oxide had been observed, but the amount had never been exactly ascertained before the fire happened which drove the thieves from their retreat, and was the means by which the owner recovered the stolen property.
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