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Robbery Suspects Evade Capture

Two men held workers at gunpoint while trying to break into a store safe, police say.

November 30, 2002|From a Times Staff Writer

Sheriff's deputies surrounded a drugstore in Lawndale on Friday morning in hopes of capturing two men who tried to rob the store, but a SWAT team found that the suspects had escaped.

The incident began about 6:45 a.m., when the two would-be robbers confronted the manager of the Sav-On Express store on Hawthorne Boulevard at gunpoint.

The manager fled to his office, called 911 and reported that two men were trying to break into the store's safe. The attempt to crack the safe failed because another employee in the store did not know the combination, Sheriff's Department spokesman Ray Leyva said.

Leyva said that, after about two hours, deputies were able to slip into the store and rescue the manager and the other employee. No cash was taken, and it was not clear whether the suspects had fled with any merchandise. There were no injuries reported.

Hawthorne Boulevard was closed between Manhattan Beach Boulevard and Marine Avenue during the incident, and a number of neighboring businesses were also closed.

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