Armed robbery takes place at Nordstrom Rack
Fourteen employees held hostage
Fourteen employees held hostage in a Nordstrom Rack store in Westchester were led to safety by LAPD SWAT officers early today, and detectives sought two men who fled following an armed robbery at the business, police said.
One hostage was stabbed and another was sexually assaulted, the Los Angeles Police Department reported. Both were treated at the scene this morning and released.
The robbery of the clothing store at the Promenade at Howard Hughes Center was reported just after 10 p.m. Thursday by a spouse of an employee ofthe store, said Lt. Andy Neiman, a Los Angeles Police Department spokesman.
The employee, a woman, phoned her husband asking him to report to policethat two men armed with handguns had come into the store, which closes at 10p.m., Neiman said. Responding officers saw a man coming out of the store and run backinside when he saw police. A short time later, a man leaving the store with woman spotted officers and forced the woman back into the store, Neiman said. Officers became concerned that there might be additional hostages, and summoned a SWAT team.
Around 3:30 a.m., the SWAT team entered the store and found 14 people in a bathroom and a storage room in the rear of the store, Neiman said. They included 13 women and one man. Hours after the incident began, police also released about 200 people who were stranded inside a cinema at the shopping center while the crisis played out, Neiman said. They had been sheltering in place with police protection, he said.
“As we interviewed and debriefed all of the hostages, we learned that one of the hostages was stabbed,” Neiman told Fox11. “That hostage has been treated for a non-life-threatening wound ... and also, sadly, one of the other hostages was sexually assaulted. We're not going to go into any detail on that sexual assault.” Neiman said it was unclear at what point during the incident that the sexual assault occurred. “`It's tragic ... that somebody has to go and endure that kind of trauma,” Neiman said.
A white SUV with two people inside was seen leaving the shopping center parking lot around the time the robbery was reported, but it was unclear if those inside were involved with the crime, Neiman said.
A vehicle that may have been used by the suspects to flee the shopping center was later located near Washington Boulevard and Globe Avenue in Culver City, police said. Some items possibly related to the store were recovered, Neiman said. At least three SWAT trucks were among numerous police units on hand at the shopping center, a news photographer reported from the scene. The nearby Howard Hughes Parkway offramp from the southbound San Diego (405) Freeway was closed due to the police activity, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The Promenade is an outdoor shopping center with stores, eateries, a miniature golf course and a cinema multiplex. The Nordstrom Rack store, one of more than 100 across the nation serving as a clearance outlet for the upscale department store, is on the second floor of the complex, according to the center's website.
The store remained closed this afternoon.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—A man accused of sexually assaulting an employee during a robbery at a Nordstrom Rack in Westchester, in which 14 employees were taken hostage, pleaded not guilty today to 19 felony charges.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Shelly Torrealba ordered Raymond Sherman Jr., 34, to remain jailed on $4.78 million bail pending his next court appearance Jan. 28, when a date is scheduled to be set for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to require him to stand trial.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—Five people were charged today in connection with a violent armed robbery at a Nordstrom Rack store in Westchester, where 14 employees were held hostage and one was sexually assaulted.
Troy Marsay Hammock, 29, and Everett Oneal Allen, 24, were charged with 14 counts each of second-degree robbery and one count each of assault with a deadly weapon.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—Five suspects were in custody today on suspicion of involvement in a violent armed robbery last week at a Nordstrom Rack store in Westchester, where 14 employees were held hostage and two were assaulted, one of them sexually.
The robbery was reported just after 10 p.m. Thursday by a spouse of an employee at the clothing store at the Promenade at Howard Hughes Center.
HARBOR CITY, Calif.—Police today released surveillance video of three robbers who entered a liquor store in Harbor City with guns drawn and took a weapon away from a security guard before making off with cash from the register.
The robbery occurred Friday about 7:10 p.m. at the liquor store in the 1200 block of Pacific Coast Highway. No one was injured.
It is not known if the suspects escaped on foot, and detectives have few leads, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. The suspects are describe as:
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—A violent serial robber who for more than a year has terrorized victims along a stretch of Western Avenue from Hollywood to South Los Angeles was suspected today in two more crimes.
Detectives believe the “Western Bandit” was responsible for a Jan. 8 armed robbery in which a witness was shot and wounded, and for an attempted robbery on the same day, according to the Los Angeles Times.