Driver of 'suspicious' vehicle sets off security alert at White House

US Secret Service officers stand in the cordoned off area on Pennsylvania Avenue after a security incident near the fence of the White House in Washington Saturday

People visit the south lawn during the annual White House Spring Garden tours in Washington on April 17, 2016. He was immediately arrested and the vehicle was seized.

The incident happened at 11.05pm, officials said, and several streets around the White House remained closed on Sunday in what was described as an "ongoing criminal investigation".

Earlier Saturday someone jumped a low metal barrier just outside a White House fence.

He was able to make it over the fence into the grounds, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said on Twitter.

The 15th and E Street checkpoint figured in a fatal incident in 2013.

A Secret Service officer detained him and police charged him with making false bomb threats, as well as the unauthorized use of a vehicle.

However, security at the address was immediately upraded while the vehicle was checked. Authorities haven't identified the suspect or given a possible motive, and they didn't specify whether alcohol or drugs were a factor.

The Secret Service said it had taken immediate steps to avoid further security lapses as a result of the breach. US President Donald Trump was reportedly at his estate in Palm Beach, Florida at the time of the incident. On Saturday, a man tried to scale a bike rack with a letter for the Trump administration.

Two law enforcement officials told CNN no bomb was found in the vehicle. When Keoughan was taken to the ground by police, he said "this is a test".

Another man was arrested over the weekend for "yelling nonsensical statements" at a restricted area outside the White House fence.

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