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Lansford police, state officials conduct search of person’s home

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    Officer Anthony Campanell of the Lansford Police Department keeps vehicles and pedestrians off the 200 block of West Patterson Street while at the far end of the block police search a home for a wanted individual. RON GOWER/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

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    Officer Anthony Campanell of the Lansford Police Department is see in front of members of the Pennsylvania State Police Tactical Unit.

Published November 24. 2017 10:42PM

Lansford police blocked off streets in the borough for several hours Friday night while they conducted a search of a residence in the 200 block of West Patterson Street.

The Pennsylvania state police special response team was on site to serve a warrant at a residence on West Patterson Street, according to the Lansford Police Department’s Facebook page.

They didn’t find the person they were seeking.

Participating were Lansford police, Summit Hill police, state police and a state police tactical unit with several vehicles.

Nobody was permitted within a block of the search site. Spotlights were shown on the vehicle and police carried a sledgehammer onto the site.

“This operation is in progress and will move at a pace that is safe for all officers and the public,” Lansford police posted on their Facebook page.

About eight blocks were closed to traffic on West Patterson, West Bertsch, West Snyder Avenue and West Abbott — the 100 to 300 blocks of each of the streets. Traffic was detoured onto West Ridge Street.

Fire police from Lansford, Coaldale and Summit Hill were on scene, as was the Lansford Fire Department.

Police were at the scene for approximately three hours, which ended at about 9 p.m.

Earlier in the evening, an alert went out over the scanner for police to be on the look out for a vehicle that was suspected to be in connection with an attempted homicide. It is not clear whether the two incidents Friday were connected.

Police have been looking for Rafael Valdez-Torres, 26, of Hazleton in connection with a shooting in Tamaqua on Oct. 10. On that date, officers found the victim, Joseph R. Becker, 35, of Summit Hill, in the parking lot at Fegley’s Mini Mart on Center Street, but the preliminary investigation determined the shooting actually took place in the 200 block of West Rowe Street. Becker was critically injured but is recovering from his wounds.

Police believe the incident was drug-related.

Valdez-Torres is described as a 5-foot-8 tall man, about 150 pounds, with brown eyes and black hair.

Last Friday, police conducted a search for him, issuing a bulletin to all local police departments. At that time, they said he could be driving an unknown color four-door Mercury car, or may be a passenger in a rusty-colored Nissan Altima.

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