LAPD Busts 3 in Nordstrom Robbery, Hostage-Taking

14 employees were held last week
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 14, 2013 10:23 AM CST
A Los Angeles police investigator carries evidence bags from a Nordstrom Rack store at Howard Hughes Center near Los Angeles International Airport Friday, Jan. 11, 2013.   (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

(Newser) – Two men and one woman were arrested over the weekend on suspicion of holding 14 employees hostage at a Los Angeles-area Nordstrom Rack last week, the LA Times reports. The incident started late Thursday and lasted about four and a half hours; the employees were taken captive while suspects robbed the store. One female employee was sexually assaulted, another was stabbed in the neck, and a third worker was pistol-whipped. Two of the suspects are thought to be gang members; one was arrested at a Phoenix motel.

The suspects initially evaded capture by fleeing the scene in an SUV; detectives talked to witnesses and analyzed surveillance video to identify them. Sources say police have strong evidence, including both the video and physical evidence. It's not clear whether the perpetrators broke into the store after it closed or hid in the store prior to closing, and police haven't said how much cash they made off with.

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