A man dressed in heavy clothing used a small semi-automatic handgun to rob Smith's Food and Drug Center at 350 N. Freedom Blvd. in Provo of an undisclosed amount of cash Friday morning.

The man approached the customer service desk at about 10:20 a.m. and ordered the clerk to fill a gray gym bag with money, according to the police report.In an interview with Provo Police at the scene, the clerk said the man "asked us to open the safe. `We can't,' I told him.' " The man asked him why he couldn't open the safe, and he repeated that he could not open the safe.

The clerk, who, according to police, was visibly shaken, was one of two employees behind the customer service desk at the time of the robbery.

Another store employee, Corinne Wohlwend, said she saw the man leave the customer service desk but did not know there was a problem. "Because no one was in line, I thought I'll cash my check," she said. She found the service desk employees face down on the floor. That was the first she knew that a robbery had taken place, she said.

One Orem resident was sitting in a car in the fire lane outside Smith's waiting for her husband, who was returning a video to the Smith's store. "The guy almost knocked my husband over on his way out," she said of the man's rapid exit from the store.

"He was in such heavy clothing that he looked suspicious," she said.

She and her husband gave a description of the man and the getaway car to police.

The man left in a newer model red or maroon convertible with a white top. The police report said the man was accompanied by one passenger. There was no description of the passenger.

The man is described by witnesses as 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighing about 175 pounds. He wore a dark green jacket and hat with a multicolored scarf, the description said.