Armed couple prompt Fed. Building evac - Philadelphia News

July 31, 2008 3:54:40 PM PDT
Two people created a security scare that forced the evacuation of the Federal Building in Center City today. Several streets were shutdown around Independence Mall. Philadelphia police and federal agents swarmed to the area.

It started when a man and woman from Florida tried to get through the security checkpoint, armed with a knife and shotgun shells. Federal agents found their mini van in the underground lot at the visitors center across the street and called the bomb squad. Inside the van they found a sawed off shotgun and another gun, along with assorted knives and swords.

The couple appeared to be living in the van. They had all their belongings in it, including three dogs and a motorcycle. Sources tell us they appeared to have lost their home and were upset about the nationwide mortgage foreclosure crisis.

Before they searched the van, authorities evacuated the Federal Building and the visitors center.

Independence Mall is a busy area teeming with tourists from all over the world. They came to see the sights, but ended up with a lot more excitement than they bargained for.

Visitors were eventually allowed back into the garage to retrieve their cars. But, we were not allowed to take pictures of the van.

The couple has been arrested and charged with the federal crime of entering federal property with prohibited items.

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