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Los Angeles | IN BRIEF / LONG BEACH

Hundreds Evacuated in Search After Gunfight

January 05, 2003|From Times Staff Reports

About 200 people were evacuated for several hours Saturday night while a SWAT team searched for at least three pawnshop robbers who fled after a gunfight with police in the downtown area, authorities said.

Police sealed off six blocks after exchanging fire with the robbers in the 1000 block of Long Beach Boulevard, said Sgt. Paul LeBaron.

Detectives said three or four men armed with guns entered the shop just before 5 p.m. and demanded money. Officers summoned by a silent alarm arrived before the robbers fled, LeBaron said.

Several buildings, including at least two apartment houses, were evacuated while SWAT officers conducted a door-to-door search. Two suspects were found and taken into custody, LeBaron said.

Police continued to search for other suspects Saturday night. No injuries were reported.

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