MANHATTAN BEACH ( — Police are looking for the man who allegedly robbed a Manhattan Beach smoke shop and slashed an employee’s throat in the process.

The incident happened shortly after 4 p.m. Thursday at The Cigar and Smoke Shop on Artesia Boulevard.

Police said the suspect pulled a gun out of a cardboard box and demanded money from an employee. The robber put the victim in handcuffs in a back room while he took money from a cash box.

The suspect then came back and sliced the employee’s throat with a knife, according to officials.

Melissa Solis said she had no idea a robbery was taking place two doors down as she took her lunch break outside.

“He was taking the money and he had the gun in his hand, I guess, while I was right there. I could have easily looked over and I would have seen him,” she said.

Solis was there when the clerk came outside, bleeding and calling for help.

“He looked really disoriented. He had a cut and his shirt was covered in blood. It was all red, and he was just holding his hands out because he was handcuffed to something,” she said.

The victim is in stable condition after undergoing surgery to his neck.

Police describe the suspect as a man in his early 20s with a mustache and short hair. He was seen wearing a white dress shirt, dark tie, jeans and dark shoes.

(©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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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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