Ammonia Stolen at Thomasville Ice Company

Authorities are searching for answers about the attempted robbery of the toxic chemical used to make an illegal drug.

The owner of Prestige Ice Company has reported nine robberies this year. Not for inventory, but for anhydrous ammonia, a chemical used in the company's refrigeration tank and criminals use it to make crystal meth.

Saturday night someone struck again, causing a leak that evacuated a nearby neighborhood.

"Apparently what happened, the burglar taking the ammonia panicked, the ammonia overwhelmed him and he ran leaving an open line," says Ronnie Salter, the general manager for Prestige Ice Company.

Police say anyone handling the chemical face risks of severe chemical burns from the fumes and say there is just cause for an arrest.

"It's certainly nothing that the employees would do. The equipment is in good working order it was functioning like it's suppose to there's no reason for ammonia to have leaked out the tank except that someone opened the valve," says LT Mark Scott with the Thomasville Police Department.

The suspect in the case could face a number of charges including criminal trespassing, and Salter says he's working with authorities to make that happen.

"I hope that nothing like this ever happens again, that the people who did this are brought to justice.”

Salter says it's frustrating dealing with the problem and hopes it will all come to an end soon. Thomasville police are not releasing any information about any suspects.

Authorities are looking for any information about Saturday's attempted robbery.