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Arrests made in Los Angeles store hostage drama

Police secure the scene at the Nordstrom Rack store at Westchester Mall in Los Angeles, where LAPD SWAT officers rescued 14 people who were hiding in a storage room following an armed robbery, Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. Employees were closing up the store and preparing to go home when two gunmen stormed inside and took them hostage. The thugs stabbed one of the 14 Nordstrom Rack employees and sexually assaulted another before SWAT officers freed everyone early Friday, more than three hours after the ordeal began. (AP Photo/Los Angeles Times, Irfan Khan) NO FORNS; NO SALES; MAGS OUT; ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER OUT; LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS OUT; VENTURA COUNTY STAR OUT; INLAND VALLEY DAILY BULLETIN OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT, TV OUT

Police secure the scene at the Nordstrom Rack store at Westchester Mall in Los Angeles, where LAPD SWAT officers rescued 14 people who were hiding in a storage room following an armed robbery, Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. Employees were closing up the store and preparing to go home when two gunmen stormed inside and took them hostage. The thugs stabbed one of the 14 Nordstrom Rack employees and sexually assaulted another before SWAT officers freed everyone early Friday, more than three hours after the ordeal began. (AP Photo/Los Angeles Times, Irfan Khan) NO FORNS; NO SALES; MAGS OUT; ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER OUT; LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS OUT; VENTURA COUNTY STAR OUT; INLAND VALLEY DAILY BULLETIN OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT, TV OUT

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Police in Los Angeles have arrested more than one suspect in connection with last week’s hostage taking of 14 clothing store workers, one of whom was stabbed and another sexually assaulted.

Sgt. Dennis Beacham told The Associated Press Sunday night that the arrests have been made. He declined to elaborate, saying an official announcement would be made Monday.

But persons familiar with the investigation told the Los Angeles Times that three people had been arrested, including one on Friday and another on Saturday. The men were not identified and police did not release details.

Investigators had strong evidence linking the men to Thursday’s brazen robbery, including physical evidence and security camera video, the Times said. Prosecutors will decide this week whether to file charges.

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

Police officers and SWAT team members swarmed the shopping center that also has restaurants and a movie theater. Officers found most of the hostages locked in a storage room and two others in a bathroom, police said.

The employee who was stabbed was treated and released at the scene, police said.

To help identify the suspects, detectives conducted numerous witness interviews and examined surveillance video from inside and outside Nordstrom Rack as well as from surrounding businesses.

Associated Press


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