ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) -
Police say they arrested a man after he caused a bomb scare at Coronado Center on Saturday.
Police did not find explosives, but the scare tied up traffic and kept Albuquerque police busy for much of the afternoon.
Police say their crisis intervention team is looking into why a man claimed he had a ticking bomb in his car, parked in a busy mall parking lot.
Dozens of people waited outside Coronado Center Saturday—many of them stuck after police blocked off part of the parking lot in front of Kohl's.
"I was in the bookstore. I just came out. I went to get my car, and they said, ‘No, can't go in here,'" says Dirk Vanhart. "It's going to be several hours... at least."
It was nearly four hours.
Albuquerque police say it's because of Heath Holden.
Police got a call at about 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon when a shopper reported seeing a man in his 20s wearing body armor, setting a shotgun on the roof of his car, a white Ford Escort.
Devin Gray and his friends say they saw him in the mall.
"There was this guy. He was strapped with little vest things on his front and his back," Gray says. "We saw security going after him. That was the last time we saw him. Then, we came outside. Police had him handcuffed. He was tall with long hair."
Police say Holden had a large knife but no gun with him, and he was wearing a vest used for weight training, not body armor.
"Surveillance video was reviewed. Because of foliage from a tree, it is unclear as to what that citizen saw," says Sgt. Ferris Simmons with Albuquerque Police.
But things escalated when Holden told police he had two hand grenades and a bomb ticking in his car.
The bomb squad brought in a robot to carefully go through everything in the car only to find a ticking toy hand grenade and a hand grenade firework.
"There was no immediate danger to the shoppers here at Coronado or any other citizens of Albuquerque, so I think that's definitely a win," Sgt. Simmons says.
Police say Holden will be charged with carrying a concealed deadly weapon, a large knife, and he is banned from Coronado Center.
Police say at this time, they don't know if Holden is from Albuquerque or if he has a criminal history. Police had his car towed from the scene.
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