WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP/WCBS 880) — Police said a homeless man made a false claim about a suitcase that led to a Westchester County mall being evacuated for almost two hours.

Authorities said the man told police that a suitcase he left in the food court at The Galleria mall had been given to him by a Middle Eastern man.

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“The person is known to the department as one of our street people,” White Plains Public Safety Commissioner David Chong told WCBS 880 on Saturday, “he said the package was ticking.”

The story led to the mall’s evacuation around 12:15 p.m. Saturday.

The suitcase was examined and found to contain clothes, and the mall was reopened around 2 p.m.

The man faces a charge of falsely reporting an incident.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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