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Boston police detonate suitcase ditched near Homeland Security vehicle

BOSTON -- An area of Atlantic Avenue in Boston was shut down as bomb technicians blew up a suspicious suitcase left by an unknown man next to a Homeland Security vehicle, CBS Boston reports.

The suitcase could be seen Friday morning on the ground next to a police SUV on Atlantic Avenue.

Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said the suitcase was left by an unidentified man who then quickly left the area. Police say the man is not a suspect, but they want to talk to him about why he left the suitcase behind.

A bomb robot picked the item up and carried it across the street. A short time later the suitcase was blown up on the side of the road.

Evans said that when technicians used an x-ray to look inside the suitcase, wires and a power source could be seen.

Police do not believe there were any explosive items inside, but decided to do a controlled detonation.

"What bothers us is the behavior and why this individual placed it next to a Homeland Security vehicle and then hurried away," said Evans.

State Police closed several streets in the area but just after noon began to open them back up.

Armed tactical officers were present in the area to keep people from coming near the suitcase.

The person seen leaving the suitcase next to the SUV is described as a white man in his 40s.

Despite the suspicious nature of the incident, Evans said there is no threat to the public.

"People are safe. There are no threats to the city," Evans said.

Evans added that suspicious behavior is taken especially seriously in wake of the mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif. that left 14 people and two suspects dead.

"Unfortunately I think we're all on a little bit of a heightened alert because of what happened in San Bernardino. People have a right to be concerned," said Evans.

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