A bizarrely-decorated Tesla apparently connected to a "hoax device" triggered a bomb scare in Queens on Monday morning, according to police and photos shared with Gothamist.
The suspicious package, which was initially reported as a propane tank, prompted the evacuation of Queens Place Mall and several surrounding blocks in Elmhurst just before 9 a.m. on Monday.
Photos of the vehicle provided to Gothamist show the exterior of the Model S Tesla covered in a tangle of wires, an aerosol can, pieces of wood, and four raw hot dogs. The roof of the car features a Black Lives Matter sign, among other pieces of cardboard.
The NYPD's Bomb Squad cleared the package as a "hoax" shortly before 11 a.m. Police said they found a husky dog that was trapped inside the vehicle.
Photos of the vehicle also show the Tesla with "loaner" Nevada license plates that law enforcement officials believe were stolen, a source told Gothamist. The investigation into a possible suspect is ongoing.
After an RV was detonated by a suicide bomber in Nashville on Christmas Day, the NYPD's Counterterrorism Bureau Critical Response vowed to step up patrols of critical infrastructure locations.
We'll update this story as more information becomes available.