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1 Nordstrom hostage sexually assaulted, 1 stabbed, police say

January 11, 2013 |  7:08 am

This post has been updated.

One female hostage held overnight at the Nordstrom Rack in Westchester was sexually assaulted and another was stabbed, Los Angeles police said Friday.

The two were among 14 hostages held by two robbers at the clothing store. About a half hour into the ordeal, which began at 11 p.m. Thursday, the hostages were led into a bathroom, said sources familiar with the investigation.

The woman who was stabbed was struck in the neck and her injuries were not life threatening, police said. [Updated at 7:16 a.m., Jan. 11: A third hostage was pistol-whipped, police said.]

Police did not say exactly how long the suspects were in the Nordstrom Rack before they fled with an undisclosed amount of money.

Police early Friday were trying to confirm that the getaway car was found at a nearby location.

When the Los Angeles Police Department's SWAT officers arrived Thursday night, they surrounded the store, according to police sources. At one point, one of the suspects left the store, saw police and ran back inside.

A second suspect walked out with an unidentified woman, saw police and headed back to the store. The officers entered the store at 3:30 a.m. and freed 14 people -- employees and possibly customers -- huddled in a storage room.

The incident occurred at the Promenade at Howard Hughes Center, near the 405 Freeway. The LAPD had called a tactical alert and closed off the area around the shopping center.

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-- Andrew Blankstein

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