Just down the block from our station this morning, hazmat crews assembled their teams, and the bomb squad rolled up at 3rd and Market. The street was shut down, and many businesses in the area were forced to evacuate.
Philadelphia police were tipped off to a suspicious van parked in a lot at 3rd and Market Streets around 5 o'clock Saturday morning. When they arrived, police say they saw two men stealing cooking oil. According to police, there was an "elaborate set-up" from the kitchens to the back of the van. The two men were taken into custody immediately.
Inside the van were large drums of what police later learned was cooking oil. Hazmat crews and the bomb squad were called in to make sure that cooking oil was the only thing inside the van.
Market Street was closed between 2nd and 4th Streets for nearly two hours, while police investigated the suspicious vehicle. Businesses in the immediate area were evacuated, and people were kept back a safe distance. SEPTA buses were re-routed while the road as shut down.
After hazmat teams confirmed the contents of the van were safe, the road was reopened around 10am.
Police have not yet released the names of the two men, or said if they were linked to any other oil thefts.