The Real Story Behind Last Night’s Hostage Situation

Have scanner, will tweet

Crime Comments

By now you’ve probably read the stories or seen the reports about the hostage situation that occurred last night at the Howard Hughes Center in Westchester. In case you haven’t: Armed dudes tried to rob the Nordstrom Rack. Someone called police. LAPD officers surrounded the shopping mall including a theater where patrons were watching the hyper-violent Gangster Squad. Two robbers maybe drove off in a white Ford Explorer. 13 or 14 people were either detained as hostages or locked themselves into a room. One woman was sexually assaulted by the robbers. In the wee hours of the morning, a SWAT team stormed the store. They found the hostages and discovered the robbers had escaped. The robbers are still at large. At least that’s what we think happened. The police are still piecing it together.

Aside from the pressing question of “Who bothers robbing Nordstrom Rack?!” here’s the real story: Before most (though not all) big-time news outlets (we’ll be kind by not mentioning names) had even geared up to report this, scanner junkies like Venice 311 and (our favorite) LA Scanner were already tweeting about the standoff and cracking OJ Simpson jokes (you know: white Explorer, fleeing on the freeway).

Both Venice 311 and LA Scanner don’t tweet details of police operations lest they put officers in harm’s way. But as sooon as it was over, Venice 311 had details. Last night and in the wee hours of this morning, if you wanted to learn immediate details of the fracas, you were better off forgetting the local news and checking Twitter. Aint technology grand?

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  • LaLola

    What? I don’t get the point of this article….scanners knew about it before the news reported.

    That’s the “real story”? Big whoop.

  • Ann Onymous

    No operational details? LA Scanner tweeted that LAPD copters were down due to wind as situation began, that cops were seeking blueprints of Hughes Center, that white SUV was spotted leaving scene (good idea to ditch it then, if you’re a perp with a smartphone), that units were watching roof hatches of shopping center … then he tweeted that he doesn’t put out operational details and went silent. Now you are parroting him saying he doesn’t put out operational info to preserve safety of officers. The scanner following Twitter accounts are fun and informative, but their information is unverified, spotty and everything they put out (minus the snark – appropriate when vics are being stabbed and sexually assaulted?) is available thru online scanners.

  • Katie

    No mention that Alex Thompson is a convicted felon herself?

    That’s the real story.

  • Katie

    Who gave you the idea for this story? That con artist Alex Thompson?

    She sure knows how to play the editors.

  • Todd Sputnik

    “Aside from the pressing question of “Who bothers robbing Nordstrom Rack?!”

    Another suburban troll wakes up and thinks that she is a journalist, joking about a violent crime involving a sexual assault. Of course, the fact that she is a convicted criminal herself makes this utterly ironic and says a lot about a rag named LOS ANGELES MAGAZINE.