Bomb squad called to Melbourne shopping centre over suspected explosive device

Some Melbourne residents and shoppers have had to evacuate after a suspected explosive device was found in a car.

The scene has since been “deemed safe,” police said in a statement to

Victoria Police were sent to Cranbourne Park Shopping Centre to conduct a welfare check on a man spotted in his vehicle.

However, when they arrived the car was empty, but they found a gun and suspected improvised explosive device.

Channel 9 reports that a Christmas Eve shopper approached the car out of concern when they saw a man slumped inside.

However, as the concerned bystander drew near, they noticed a gun on the passenger seat and called the police.

The man fled before authorities arrived.

When police searched the vehicle, they also came across a device that caused the bomb response unit to be called out.

Out of an abundance of caution, local residents who lived in nearby Cranbourne Drive were evacuated.

The vehicle’s occupant is still at large.

“The male sighted in the vehicle is yet to be located and investigations remain ongoing,” police said.

Police attended the scene at 11.50am.

Anyone with information that could assist police with their inquiries is urged to contact Crime Stoppers.

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