WESTCHESTER, LOS ANGELES, CA — Police in Los Angeles, California say at least 2 men responsible for robbing Norstrom Rack store in the Promenade at Howard Hughes Center have escaped; leaving 14 hostages locked inside a storage room.
Authorities were able to release the hostages after a Swat Team entered the store and discovered the suspects had escaped.
The hostage crisis began minutes after employees had closed the store Thursday evening.
According to reports, an unidentified man phoned police to alert them that his girlfriend had just called telling that two armed men had just stormed the store, in an apparent robbery attempt, brandishing guns.
When officers arrived, they saw a man who was acting strangely run into the store. Police then noticed another suspicious man grab a woman and take her into the Norstrom Rack.
Police immediately began to lockdown the area. Authorities ordered Rave Cinimas 18 + IMAX moviegoers to remain in the theater until further notice as officers for SWAT to arrive.
Once the area around the Promenade had been secured, SWAT took charge and forced their way into the Nordstrom Rack.
Officers found a group of hostages in one of the store’s storage rooms. According to police, 13 women and 1 man were huddled together and frightened upon there discovery. They were all Norstrom employees.
release when are searching for at least two armed robbery suspects after 14 people were held hostage overnight at a Nordstrom Rack in Westchester.entered the Norstrom Rack.
Authorities say that one female hostage was sexually assaulted and transported to a local hospital. One other person who was stabbed was treated and released at the scene. There were reports that a third person may have been pistol-whipped, however, we have not been able to verify that account.
The robbery was first reported around 11 p.m. an hour after the Nordstrom Rack had closed according to Lt. Andy Neiman.
By 3 a.m. the SWAT Team had began to force their way into the store.
Lt. Neiman told reporters that officials weren’t sure if the hostages took refuge on their own or secured by the assailants,
Reportedly, the hostages were being interviewed by detectives with the LAPD Robbery Homicide division soon after their release.
Presently, a description of the suspect has not been released.
The approximate 200 moviegoers that had been ordered to remain in the theater were finally released after being stuck inside for six hours during the incident.
The Promenade at Howard Hughes is expected to open at 10 a.m. Friday morning.
Los Angeles police are searching for the robbery suspects who remain at large.
According to one of the hostages the suspects were carrying weapons.
It is unclear what was stolen from the store.
Culver City police said early Friday morning they located the suspect vehicle, a white SUV, and turned it over to the LAPD. It was located at Washington Place and Globe Avenue, but no one was inside. A white SUV was seen leaving the mall hastily earlier.
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