Police investigators reported progress Friday in their investigation of the Wednesday robbery of Payless Shoesource, 824 E. 94th South, the most recent in a string of Salt Lake-area shoe store robberies.

A male robber and his female accomplice entered the store about 9 p.m. Wednesday, browsed for about 10 minutes, then ordered three employees and a carpet cleaning man into the back room. There he tied up two teenage girls and the carpet man with rope, covered their mouths with duct tape and had his female accomplice hold a handgun on them while he took a male employee to the front of the store to empty the cash register.The robbers locked all four victims inside the store and ordered them to wait 10 minutes before calling police in case he had a hard time getting his car to start.

The male robber told the employees they deserved a big raise, and advised them to remove the duct tape slowly so it would not hurt. "When he was getting ready to leave, he told us that we were very cooperative and he thanked us and told us it was `a pleasure,' " a 17-year-old female victim told police.

The male robber was described as unshaven, 5 feet 6 or 7 inches tall, 145 pounds, with dark brown hair. He was wearing a baseball cap, T-shirt, tennis shoes and an Army-style jacket and pants. The woman is described as an overweight 24- or 25-year-old with long, sandy-blond hair.