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Suspicious vehicle causes brief scare in New York City

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Police called to investigate vehicle with two gas cans in back seat
  • NYPD bomb squad uses robot to X-ray vehicle, blow out windows
  • Car owner tells police he had gas cans because he mows lawns for family members

New York (CNN) -- New York City police sounded an all-clear early Friday after a brief scare involving a suspicious car in lower Manhattan, a few weeks after a foiled bomb attempt in Times Square.

An employee for the Con Edison utility company called 911 at around 10:15 p.m. ET Thursday to report a four-door 1991 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera with two gas cans in the back seat, according to Paul Browne, New York deputy police commissioner.

Police tracked down the owner, who said he keeps the gas cans in his car because he does lawn work for relatives, Browne said. Before the owner was found, the bomb squad used a robot to X-ray the vehicle and blow out its windows.

The Con Edison building and a nearby apartment complex were evacuated as a precaution, Browne said.

Police removed the canisters from the vehicle and cleared the scene early Friday.

Police investigate suspicious vehicle Video

Nerves have been on edge in New York City since Faisal Shahzad, an American citizen originally from Pakistan, left a car bomb in Times Square that failed to detonate.

Shahzad was arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport while trying to leave the country.

CNN's Susan Candiotti contributed to this report.