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Five charged in connection with robbery at Nordstrom Rack

City News Service | 1/14/2013, 5 p.m.

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.

They were set to appear at the downtown Los Angeles courthouse along with two women, Rochelle Monique Sherman, 33, and Paula Roneshia Bradley, 29, who were charged with one count each of being an accessory after the fact.

A fifth defendant, Raymond Sherman Jr., 34, was charged with two counts of forcible rape, one count each of oral copulation, kidnapping for rape and assault with a deadly weapon and 14 counts of second-degree robbery. He was awaiting extradition from Arizona, where he was arrested.

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.

"The investigators worked relentlessly for the next 48 hours to track down the assailants," Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck said at a Monday news conference at police headquarters.

"By Saturday evening, Robbery-Homicide Division was able to identify and arrest the three suspects who committed the robbery," the police chief said. "Two additional individuals were also arrested for their actions after the robbery."

SWAT officers from the Los Angeles Police Department led the hostage victims to safety early Friday, several hours after two gunmen were reported to have entered the business. One hostage had been stabbed and another was sexually assaulted, according to police.

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. Some items possibly related to the store were recovered, authorities said.

The Promenade is an outdoor shopping center with stores, eateries, a miniature golf course and a cinema multiplex. The Nordstrom Rack store--a clearance outlet for the upscale department store--is on the second floor of the complex.