Box marked 'explosives' sparks bomb scare in Tempe

Posted: Updated:

TEMPE, Ariz. – A scare involving a container labeled “explosives” inside a Jeep Cherokee led to the closure of a major Tempe street for several hours early Monday morning.

Police found the vehicle partially blocking Southern Avenue at about 2:30 a.m. The vehicle apparently had run out of gas halfway in the driveway of a business area near Price Road and Southern Avenue.

The owner reportedly was unable to push the Jeep completely out of the roadway. He then went to get gas, leaving the vehicle where it was.

Upon spotting the box, officers, who were about the tag the Jeep as abandoned, closed Southern Avenue, blocked off the area and called in the bomb squad.

After talking to the Jeep's owner, specialists determined what while the container is of a type commonly used to transport explosives, it held nothing more than vehicle fluids.

“We wanted to play it by the numbers. We wanted to do it safely,” said Sgt. Steve Carbajal of the Tempe Police Department. “We’re glad that we did.”

Once it was determined that the box did not actually contain explosives and was not dangerous, the vehicle was moved. Police reopened Southern Avenue to traffic shortly after 6 a.m.