Police: Arrests made in LA store hostage drama

January 14, 2013 - 2:32 AM

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Police arrested three men suspected of storming into a Southern California department store, taking 14 employees hostage and attacking two of the captives, authorities said.

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

Persons familiar with the investigation told the Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/W16z1f ) one of the suspects was taken into custody Friday and another on Saturday.

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.

The men were not identified and police did not release details of the arrests.

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.

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Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com