Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office investigators are looking for a man who robbed a Buellton liquor store at gunpoint Thursday night and released several surveillance photos of the suspect, a sheriff’s spokeswoman said.

Deputies went to a liquor store in the 400 block of the Avenue of Flags about 5:50 p.m. after a 911 call but found the suspect had fled prior to their arrival, heading northbound on foot behind the business, spokeswoman Raquel Zick said.

A perimeter was established and sheriff’s K-9 units and a helicopter from the County Air Support Unit assisted in an extensive search of the area as residents were asked to shelter in place.

The shelter-in-place request was lifted after deputies failed to find the suspect, Zick said.

The suspect, who was armed with a handgun, was last seen wearing a black-brimmed baseball cap, a Columbia-brand hooded sweatshirt and dark shorts.

Investigators are asking anyone with information about the suspect to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 805-681-4100. To remain anonymous, call the tip line at 805-681-4171 or go online to