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Burlington Coat Factory standoff ends peacefully

June 14, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A SWAT team swarmed the entrance to a Burlington Coat Factory in Inglewood on Thursday following reports of a robbery at the store.

The robbery attempt happened at 3150 Imperial Highway just before 7 a.m. as the store prepared to open. SWAT officers shattered one of the glass doors and began getting employees out to safety.

"There were no customers in the store at the time of the robbery," said Inglewood Police Department Captain Marie Dibernardo. She added that between 10 and 15 employees were inside and all were removed safely.

Employee Janisha Whitlow said one of the suspects pointed a gun at her and barked out orders.

"I just got on the ground and did what they said," she said.

Police detained and questioned everyone who was in the store at the time of the attempted robbery. Everyone was treated as a possible suspect until police cleared them. Eventually detectives were able to arrest three robbery suspects.

Police say they are investigating all possibilities in the attempted robbery including whether the suspects got help from the inside. Dibernardo said authorities are "always investigating the possibility of anything."

The store remained closed as the investigation continued.