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Suspicious device found on rental car

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A mechanic working on a rental car near the Albuquerque International Sunport early Sunday called police when he discovered an unusual device attached to the vehicle’s undercarriage, according to Albuquerque police.

Officer Simon Drobik said that the mechanic called police around 8:30 a.m., and the department dispatched its bomb squad, which sent in a robot for a closer look.

The discovery sparked the evacuation of the rental car hub, home to several rental car companies and located on University, about a mile and a half from the Sunport. Drobik said he was not sure which company had rented the vehicle, nor what type of vehicle it was.

Though it was near the Sunport, flights were not disrupted and the airport was not affected, though some nearby roads were shut down for short time.

People attempting to rent or return cars were directed to a nearby parking lot. A line of customers formed along the sidewalk while people checked their cellphones to understand why they weren’t allowed to the car rental center.

A rental company employee said Sunday evening that they were still trying to track down cars that had been returned during the incident.

He said the event left him and his colleagues on edge.

“We’ve had threats from hostile customers, but I’ve never heard of a bomb threat,” he said.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is handling the investigation into the device, while the FBI will manage the investigation into who had the vehicle last and where it came from, Drobik said.

It was not clear Sunday if the device could have exploded.

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