LOS ANGELES — 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.