It happened Saturday morning on East 34th Street.
Surveillance video shows the man filling a bag with Gatorade and other items before trying to leave the store.
Investigators say when a security guard intervened, the suspect tried to stab him with a hypodermic needle then ran off.
The security guard suffered pain to his left hand but refused medical attention.
Police are asking for the public’s help tracking down the suspect.
Call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). You can also submit tips by visiting the CrimeStoppers website at crimestoppers.nypdonline.org or by messaging on Twitter @NYPDTips.