14 people rescued after LA armed robbery drama

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Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013 9:09 am

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Fourteen department store employees have been rescued by a Los Angeles SWAT team after a four-hour armed robbery hostage drama inside a Nordstrom Rack department store, a police spokesman said Friday.

The two robbers have escaped despite an extensive search of the department store.

No one was hurt.

The employees - 13 women and a man - were being questioned.

The ordeal at the Promenade at Howard Hughes Center began at about 11 p.m., when a boyfriend of a Nordstrom worker placed a frantic 911 call and said his girlfriend called him and said there were armed robbers in the store, Lt. Andy Neiman told KTTV-TV.

Police officers and special weapons teams swarmed the mall. Stores were closed, but moviegoers at a theater in the complex were sheltered in place as a precaution, the lieutenant said.

The southbound Howard Hughes Parkway freeway off-ramp on nearby Interstate 405 was shut down during the hostage drama.

Just after 3 a.m., SWAT team members entered the Nordstrom Rack and found some employees locked in storage area and others hiding in a bathroom, Neiman said.

It's unclear when the suspects escaped.

The Promenade is an outdoor shopping center with stores, restaurants and a theater complex. The Nordstrom Rack store is on the second floor of the complex.

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