msnbc.com news services
updated 10/20/2010 2:17:01 PM ET 2010-10-20T18:17:01

New York City police determined a "suspicious" vehicle parked near Manhattan's Port Authority bus terminal was harmless and reopened the area.

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Police say an unattended Chevy minivan was parked outside a Westin Hotel with its hazard lights flashing, though it was not clear how long it had been there.

Police determined the van had run out of gas.

Police closed a few blocks around the area, including 43rd Street from Eighth Avenue to Times Square.

A suspect was seen running from the vehicle, according to Breaking News Network (BNN), a news service that monitors police scanners.

Investigations of suspicious packages are common in the Times Square area. Police typically close streets when unattended baggage is found at the busy section of Manhattan known as the Crossroads of the World.

Occasionally there is a real threat. On May 1, a Pakistani-born U.S. citizen parked a truck full of fuel and fireworks in Times Square in an attempt to kill civilians.

Faisal Shahzad pleaded guilty to the plot and was sentenced to life in prison.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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