CLOVIS, Calif. (KFSN) -- Jarring images show the moments a Clovis Recycling Center employee was stabbed over a handful of cash.
"Why someone would come in and stab someone for 40 or 50 bucks because that's probably what he got," said owner Tyce Ferguson.
Ferguson says this all happened just after 12 p.m. in front of customers and with a full parking lot.
He says two men and a woman, who had been there the day prior, came to recycle some items but left disappointed in the amount they were paid.
"He got a little upset tried to rip him off as he was working with another customer," Ferguson said. "My person at the til opened the til and the guy snatched and grabbed."
Out of instinct, the cashier chased after him.
Video shows the moments he makes contact with the suspect before taking him to the ground.
"All of a sudden I heard he's got a knife, he's got a knife. and he stabbed my employee in the calf," the owner said. "Tried to stab him in the upper torso but he had a heavy duty vest on and so it just scratched him on the chest."
Ferguson says in their almost 30 years of business this is this incident is a first.
He adds, they were already working to enhance their surveillance system, and now they plan to add additional security measures, so employees don't have to handle cash directly.
"We're going to put an ATM in where we give the customers a ticket with a barcode and it'll read the barcode, and it'll pay them," he said.
The machine would enhance both customer and employee safety.
Many recycling centers are catching on with that trend as they've become targets for the amount of cash they carry.
The employee is recovering at Community Regional Medical Center. Clovis police are working to identify the suspects.
If you have information about this case, you are urged to contact Valley Crime Stoppers. You could be eligible to receive a cash reward if you provide information anonymously that leads to an arrest. To leave a tip, call 559-498-7867, or fill out the form at ABC30.com/CrimeStoppers.
Surveillance video shows Clovis Recycling employee confronting robbers before being stabbed twice