The drama unfolded at about 6:10 p.m. Saturday when two men entered a hair and nail salon in the 5600 block of Rainier Avenue South, said Jeff Kappel of the Seattle Police Department.
The robbers ordered the victims - the salon's owner and two of her employees, a man and a woman - to the rear of the salon while one suspect brandished a handgun.
The victims were told to face the wall and empty their pockets. In addition, one robber forcefully removed jewelry from the female employee and cut off her bracelet and necklace with a scissors. The thieves also rifled through the victims' purses, Kappel said.
The suspects then tied the victims together and fled the salon out the back door. One of the victims was able to break free and call 911.
Several patrol officers, including K-9 police dogs, responded to the scene. An extensive area search was conducted but the suspects were not found.
Despite the rough treatment, none of the victims was injured during the robbery.
The suspects are described as Vietnamese males in their 30s to 40s. One was armed with a black-and-chrome handgun. The robbers wore hooded sweatshirts and one wore sunglasses.
Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or the Seattle Police Robbery Unit at (206) 684-5535. Anonymous tips are welcome.
This remains an active and on-going robbery investigation, Kappel said.