Employees of a Bi-Lo were tied up and directed into the meat cooler of the store this morning as two armed men attempted to rob the store on Ooltewah-Ringgold Road, authorities said.
The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office received a call this morning about 7:10 a.m. on a possible armed robbery, said sheriff's office spokeswoman Janice Atkinson in a news release.
When deputies arrived at the store, several vendors on the scene said they had found the store open, but couldn't find any employees.
The deputies eventually located the 14 employees in the store's meat cooler. About seven were bound with zip-ties, Atkinson said.
Employees told the deputies that two armed males attempted to rob the store, although no money was taken.
Vendors told police that, when they arrived at the store this morning, they noticed a silver four-door car parked at the rear. Officials believe the suspects drove that car, said Atkinson.
Atkinson said the investigation is ongoing, and video from the store's camera cannot be released yet.