Bomb scare at Queens mall that prompted evacuation, major police response was ‘hoax’: NYPD

Cops outside the Queens Place Mall in Elmhurst, Queens on Jan. 4, 2021.
Photo by Dean Moses

Police sealed off blocks around the Queens Place Mall for several hours on Monday morning while investigating a reported suspicious vehicle parked in the shopping center’s garage that turned out to be a hoax.

NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan reported just before 11 a.m. that the “all clear” had been given, and the vehicle had been deemed safe. 

The scare was first reported at about 8:45 a.m. on Jan. 4 at the mall located at 88-01 Queens Blvd., near 56th Avenue, in Elmhurst.

Preliminary reports on the Citizen app described the vehicle in question as a black Tesla which had a propane tank and a battery located inside. The NYPD did not confirm the description, but the NYPD Bomb Squad is on the scene.

Sources indicated at about 10:50 a.m. that the vehicle is “not an active threat.”

The initial response by the 110th Precinct prompted a precautionary evacuation of the Queens Place Mall and a Level 1 mobilization that brought out additional police units along with the FDNY.

But the device was ultimately determined to be a “hoax,” according to the NYPD. Officers did managed to rescue a Husky left inside the vehicle.

Police officers and FDNY units along Queens Boulevard in Elmhurst, Queens on Jan. 4, 2021.Photo by Dean Moses

Queens Boulevard had been closed off between Grand and 57th Avenues, and people inside of neighboring businesses and homes were also told to leave during the initial response.

The investigation is ongoing, Monahan said. 

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