Bomb scare in mall area
Whitehall Township police officers, along with emergency personnel from across the region, converged on Lehigh Valley Mall property after a bomb threat March 20.
The incident, according to the police report, took place approximately 6:30 p.m. when a male reportedly told officers he had placed bombs at the mall, on MacArthur Road in Whitehall, and a location in Allentown.
The area around the mall was cordoned off for safety reasons.
Lehigh County’s Municipal Emergency Response Team, as well as a hostage negotiation team, arrived on the scene.
The suspect was located in the vicinity of the mall entrance, Whitehall Township Police Chief Michael Marks said.
After a dialogue was established with the suspect, he was eventually taken into custody without incident.
Police did not release the name of the suspect.
The scene was cleared for explosive devices, according to the report.
The investigation is continuing.
Marks offered thanks to the Lehigh County District Attorney’s Office, Lehigh County MERT, the Allentown Bomb Squad, the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Lehigh County Radio, the Whitehall Township Fire Department, Whitehall Emergency Management, Cetronia Ambulance Corps and the Lehigh Valley Mall management and security team.
“The combined cooperation allowed for a peaceful conclusion to the incident,” Marks said. “The Whitehall Township Police Department also recognizes the strain put on all of these agencies during this time when they are also dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak.”