Just after midnight, two men entered the convenience store in the heavily trafficked block of Kearny Street, near Market Street, while the 42-year-old night shift clerk was cleaning at the back.
When the employee walked up toward the front of the store, which is open around the clock, he noticed a man standing behind the cash register rifling through drawers and taking items, police said.
Then a second suspect emerged and “put an object against the victim’s head, which he believed to be a weapon, possibly a gun or a knife,” Officer Gordon Shyy said.
The suspect then pushed the victim to the floor, forced him onto his stomach behind the counter and tied his hands behind his back, Shyy said.
The robbers reportedly emptied two cash drawers and swiped an undisclosed number of scratch-off lottery tickets and cigarette packs from a counter display.
They also snatched the clerk’s backpack and jacket and left him bound on the ground, Shyy said. They fled on foot in an unknown direction.
A customer who entered the 7-Eleven following the attack found the employee and untied him. Police were called, and the man was not seriously injured.
Police are working to recover surveillance video of the incident.
The suspects, who remain at large, were both described as black men, one in his late 50s wearing a black cap, green jacket and blue jeans, and the other in his late 40s wearing a dark green jacket and black pants, according to Shyy.
The manager of the convenience store declined to comment on the case.