Police: Pressure cooker in suspicious DC vehicle destroyed

Police Destroy Pressure Cooker Near U.S. Capitol

WASHINGTON (AP) — A bomb squad safely destroyed a pressure cooker found in an unattended vehicle parked on the National Mall near the U.S. Capitol and the vehicle's owner was found and arrested, a U.S. Capitol Police spokeswoman said.

Police Lt. Kimberly A. Schneider told The Associated Press that Capitol Police officers on routine patrol spotted the parked, unoccupied vehicle on a street on the mall west of the Capitol around 5 p.m. Sunday.

"Further investigation revealed a pressure cooker, and an odor of gasoline was detected," Schneider said, adding a Capitol Police bomb squad was called in because the vehicle was deemed "suspicious in nature."

Authorities have noted that pressure cookers have been used in the past to create explosive devices. Three people were killed and more than 260 others wounded in April 2013 when two pressure-cooker bombs were set off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

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Police: Pressure cooker in suspicious DC vehicle destroyed
One arrested after bomb squad detonates pressure cooker found in car near US Capitol http://t.co/1IvzeP63Tj http://t.co/FMOrlTBMCJ
BREAKING: Police say bomb squad destroys pressure cooker from 'suspicious' vehicle near Capitol, 1 arrest.
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Capitol Police destroy pressure cooker in suspicious car on National Mall: http://t.co/Ss7zrnjtyw http://t.co/ieXuYKeOBd
A bomb squad detonated a pressure cooker from a "suspicious" vehicle near the Capitol. http://t.co/etGdAZFyWA http://t.co/2TxX2bE5G5
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Schneider said the bomb squad destroyed "items of concern in the vehicle including the pressure cooker" Sunday around 7:45 p.m. after temporarily closing off the area on the long Memorial Day holiday weekend. She did not immediately identify the other items but said only that "this safe disruption produced a loud bang."

Schneider also said a follow-up search of the vehicle found nothing hazardous. Her email said the suspicious vehicle was investigated during a concert in Washington though it was unclear how many people were nearby at the time.

The vehicle's owner was found and identified as Israel Shimeles of the Washington suburb of Alexandria, Virginia, Schneider said. Shimeles was arrested and charged with "operating after revocation," Schneider said. Schneider didn't elaborate on the charge. It wasn't immediately known if he had an attorney.

Schneider also said the city's Metropolitan Police, U.S. Park Police, the U.S. Secret Service, the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force were assisting Capitol Police.

The FBI did not immediately return a call for comment late Sunday.

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National Memorial Day Concert
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Police: Pressure cooker in suspicious DC vehicle destroyed
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 24: Former Secretary of State Colin Powell attends the 26th National Memorial Day Concert on May 24, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capitol Concerts)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 24: Veterans attend the 26th National Memorial Day Concert on May 24, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capitol Concerts)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 24: Actor Laurence Fishburne on stage at the 26th National Memorial Day Concert on May 24, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capitol Concerts)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 24: Tony award-winning actress and singer Laura Benanti performs at the 26th National Memorial Day Concert on May 24, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capitol Concerts)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 24: Actor and co-host Gary Sinise on stage at the 26th National Memorial Day Concert on May 24, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capitol Concerts)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 24: Actors and co-hosts Gary Sinise (L) and Joe Mantegna on stage at the 26th National Memorial Day Concert on May 24, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capitol Concerts)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 24: Gloria Estefan and Tenor Russell Watson, pose for a photo at the 26th National Memorial Day Concert on May 24, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capitol Concerts)
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WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 24: Actor and co-host Gary Sinise on stage at the 26th National Memorial Day Concert on May 24, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capitol Concerts)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 24: General Martin E. Dempsey, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff,Êposes for a photo with members of the Armed Forces at the 26th National Memorial Day Concert on May 24, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capitol Concerts)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 24: General Martin E. Dempsey, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, on stage at the 26th National Memorial Day Concert on May 24, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capitol Concerts)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 24: Gloria Estefan performs at the 26th National Memorial Day Concert on May 24, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capitol Concerts)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 24: 'The Voice' Season 5 winner Tessanne Chin and American Idol Season 14 winner Nick FradianiÊpose for a photo at the 26th National Memorial Day Concert on May 24, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capitol Concerts)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 24: Gloria Estefan performs at the 26th National Memorial Day Concert on May 24, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capitol Concerts)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 24: Gloria Estefan performs at the 26th National Memorial Day Concert on May 24, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capitol Concerts)
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