The incident began around 2:15 p.m. at K and Andrews Auto Repairs along the 6000 block of Lancaster Avenue.
Police say four males pulled up to the shop in a purple vehicle and asked the owner to look at the car's transmission.
After the owner evaluated the car, the conversation turned into the cost of repairs.
The males indicated the price was too and police say a heated argument ensued.
The males then pulled out guns and moved into the business office.
Once inside, authorities say, the suspects tied up two workers and took approximately $800 off the owner.
The suspects then went back into the repair shop and tied up two more people.
Police say the suspects took one of the tied up workers into the car with them and drove off.
Around 45 minutes later, the worker was dropped off at 58th Street and Cobbs Creek Parkway unharmed. He was able to find a friend driving by who drove him back to the shop.
Lt. John Walker of the Southwest Detectives Division tells Action News this may have been a preplanned robbery and the transmission issue was a stalling tactic.
"It's looking like it may have been a ruse," Walker said.
Lavernis Hutton, a relative of the store owner, was stunned when she heard what happened.
"They just told them to get down and tied them up, gagged them, and went through all their pockets," Hutton said.
Police describe the suspects as four black males who appear to be in their 20's.
Police are hoping someone will be able to spot the purple vehicle, which was reported to be an Oldsmobile Aurora.
"These guys are pretty brazen, mid-day, to try to do something like this," Walker said.
Anyone with information should call Philadelphia police.