The slogan for Hy-Vee, Inc. is “where there’s a helpful smile in every aisle.” But there was no smiling for two employees and a suspect involved in a strong-armed robbery Thursday afternoon at the Hy-Vee on 23rd Street.

The slogan for Hy-Vee, Inc. is “where there’s a helpful smile in every aisle.”

But there was no smiling for two employees and a suspect involved in a strong-armed robbery Thursday afternoon at the Hy-Vee on 23rd Street.

A Hy-Vee employee was tossed from the back of a moving truck after trying to unload allegedly stolen merchandise from the truck bed, according to Independence police.

The ordeal happened at the parking lot of the Hy-Vee at 1525 E. 23rd St. Dispatchers received the call at 2:24 p.m. Thursday.

Before that, two employees walking outside the store noticed a pick-up truck backed up to a Conex box, a long and wide storage shed located in the parking lot. The shed was used by Hy-Vee to store seasonal items.

A man, described as being white, was loading boxes from the shed into the back of truck, according to the police report.

The report did not specify what was inside the boxes. The employees saw the man helping himself to the boxes, the report says.

The employees yelled at the man and ran toward the truck. The suspect stopped loading the boxes and jumped into the driver’s seat.

One of the employees went to the driver’s side of the truck while the other employee hopped into the back of the truck in an attempt to unload the boxes, according to the report.

“The pick-up took off,” said police spokesman Tom Gentry, “and the guy was still trying to hang on to the back of the pick-up truck.”

The truck, described as a white F-250 Ford extended cab, started driving erratically in the parking lot.

Suddenly, the employee was thrown off. The employee smashed into the pavement, suffering minor injuries. As officers arrived, they saw the employee laying on the pavement. He was able to talk with officers. A monetary loss was not provided in the police report. The employee was transported to an area hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

The truck sped away from the parking lot and has not been spotted since by police.

The store’s manager referred all questions to the police department. If anyone has information about this incident, call the Independence Police Department at 816-325-7330 or anonymously at the TIPS hotline at 816-474-TIPS.