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A fake bomb was apparently left in front of a retired firefighter’s home late last night [Daily News erroneously listed the time as "early Thursday" in the initial report], drawing scores of police – including bomb squad personnel – to 68th Street between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue.
The Daily News is describing the fake device as an empty propane canister with a garage door opener keypad attached covered in masking tape with wires sticking out.
It was discovered around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday by retired city firefighter Ed Greene just moments after it was left on his front stoop by a prankster who rang the bell before running off.
Greene reportedly called police and then alerted his neighbors.
With NYPD already on high alert after twin bombings at the Boston Marathon on Monday, police officers and a bomb squad quickly filled the surrounding area.
Families on the block were hurriedly evacuated through their backyards and down the street. After reaching the corner, residents were kept there for two-and-a-half hours until bomb squad officials determined the homemade device was not real.
“Who would do such a stupid thing, if it was a prank?” asked next-door neighbor Barbara Leen, who was among those evacuated. “Why would someone do such a thing? They’re nice, good people.”
The propane tank was the type usually used to sweat pipes, another neighbor told the News.
“It looked like a big can wrapped in masking tape,” said Leen.
In December of 2011, a man was arrested for walking into the 68th precinct stationhouse on 65th Street with a fake explosive device. That device was similarly described by the New York Post as being made out of an empty propane tank.