At about 6:10 p.m., a resident from 545 San Antonio Road called police to report a pressure cooker in the bushes near the lobby doors, according to Mountain View police.
"Upon arriving at the scene police used an infrared device and found the pressure cooker was radiating heat," police reported via the department's Facebook page.
Around 9 p.m., police reported "Everything checked out clear at San Antonio Shopping Center," and residents were allowed to return to their homes.
Nothing was found inside the pressure cooker, according to Sgt. Sean Thompson, police spokesman. He said it was unclear why the infrared device detected heat radiating from the pressure cooker, and speculated that it may have simply heated up from being in the sun.
Mountain View police reported that the evacuations were a precautionary measure, and had asked people to stay away from the area. The perimeter included the entire shopping center and surrounding streets, including Showers Drive between El Camino Real and California Street. El Camino Real remained open to traffic, police said.
Pressure cookers packed with explosives and shrapnel were used in the bombing of the Boston Marathon last month, which killed three and injured more than 150 others.