Times Square Cleared, Suspicious Van Now Cleared By NYPD

Posted Dec 30, 2009 by KJ Mullins
The NYPD bomb squad is probing a van that has been left abandoned in Times Square. The 1992 van with tinted windows has not been moved in two days. It has no license plate.
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Everyone in the NASDAQ building has been evacuated as a precaution. Both the NYPD Bomb Squad and officers from the Emergency Services Unit and the Counterterrorism Bureau are on the scene investigating.
New York Times quotes Paul Cicero, an attorney whose office is at 7 Times Square. The office staff have been asked to move to the west side of the building by the police.
“They moved us to the west side, and won’t let us out right now,” Mr. Cicero said. “They asked everybody to move from their office, anything other than the west side, to move to the west side.”
Using a robot-based camera the bomb squad is approaching the van. If needed the device can also unlock doors.
A tarp is blocking the windows inside the van. A phony police placard was placed on the dashboard.
The New York Daily News reports:
"Its presence in Times Square, just before New Year Eve, causes us concern," said Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne, the NYPD's top spokesman. "That's why were taking extra precautions.
The area between Seventh Avenue and Broadway has been cleared as a precaution.
Times Square has been reopened reports ABC. The NYPD is more cautious in the Times Square area in the days leading up to New Year's Eve.
Investigators entered the van at about 1 p.m. after it had been x-rayed and screened with the robot camera device. No explosives were found in the vehicle.
Each year the police scour the area prior to the massive annual celebration. On Thursday police using human and technological sensors will be working the area thoroughly. Vehicle bombs are one of the top concerns.