Thugs rob LA store, take workers hostage, escape

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 12, 2013 at 3:19 am •  Published: January 12, 2013

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Police were searching for two armed robbers who escaped after storming into a Southern California department store, taking 14 employees hostage and attacking two of the captives.

One employee was stabbed and another was sexually assaulted before the three-hour ordeal ended early Friday at the Nordstorm Rack store at a shopping center near Los Angeles International Airport.

Nordstrom spokeswoman Tara Darrow said the gunmen committed a robbery before fleeing, but declined to describe what was stolen.

The hostage drama began about 11 p.m. Thursday, when a man reported his girlfriend had called to say gunmen were in the store, Los Angeles police Lt. Andy Neiman said.

"She told him: 'Call 911. Two guys with guns just came into our store,'" Neiman said.

Police officers and SWAT team members swarmed the shopping center that also has restaurants and a movie theater. The officers saw a man leave the second-floor store, but he ran back in, Neiman said.

Moments later, another man came out with a woman, but when he saw the police he grabbed her and pushed her back inside, Neiman said.

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