5 Arrested in Los Angeles Store Hostage Drama

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  • LOS ANGELES (AP) — Five people were arrested for a brutal takeover holdup of a clothing store during which 14 employees were held hostage, including one who was stabbed and another who was sexually assaulted, police announced Monday.

    Three Los Angeles men are believed to be the gunmen who robbed the Nordstrom Rack store at a mall near the Los Angeles International Airport last week while two women were suspected of helping them after the robbery, Police Chief Charlie Beck said at a news conference.

    Twenty detectives worked on the case around the clock and all five suspects were identified and arrested by Saturday evening, Beck said.

    It was not immediately clear whether any of them had obtained attorneys. Beck said investigators planned to send their reports Monday to county prosecutors who will determine whether to file criminal charges.

    Officers were sent to the second-floor shop at late Thursday night after a 911 caller said his girlfriend had reported that gunmen were in the store.

    Police officers and SWAT team members rushed to the Promenade at Howard Hughes Center, an outdoor shopping center that also has restaurants and a theater.

    They entered to store early Friday and found most of the employees in a storage room, although some were hiding elsewhere, said Capt. William Hayes, head of the LAPD’s Robbery-Homicide Division.

    A woman employee was stabbed in the neck, another was sexually assaulted and others were pushed or manhandled during the hours-long ordeal, police said.

    The robbers got away but with very little money.

    “This was a huge location with multiple exits. It was very difficult for responding officers to cover all of them,” Beck said.

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