KOREATOWN (CBSLA.com) — A possible hostage situation happened at an auto body shop in Koreatown Thursday evening during an alleged armed robbery.

The incident occurred around 8:15 p.m. at the Grand Prix Auto Body in the 3100 block of Pico Boulevard, near Western Avenue.

The robbers allegedly entered the building while workers and customers were still inside.

It’s unclear if the civilians were held against their will or if they were in hiding.

One person had a cellphone and called Los Angeles police. Soon after, the SWAT team surrounded the shop.

According to Stu Mundel in Sky9, police were able to free five people. They were being checked out for minor injuries.

The suspects fled before police were on the scene, according to Officer Norma Eisenman.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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