Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies are investigating an armed robbery at Joe’s Liquor on Soledad Canyon Road in Canyon Country on Saturday.
Deputies received multiple calls about the robbery at 12:40 p.m. Units were dispatched within minutes, said Lt. Leo Bauer of the Sheriff’s Station. The suspect was said to have been wearing a black ski mask, carried a black handgun and was described as having a darker skin tone, according to Bauer.
“He fled the scene on foot and was out of view,” Sgt. Steve Upton said at approximately 1 p.m. “Deputies right now are checking the area.”
The suspect went eastbound on Soledad Canyon Road after stealing several thousand dollars from the store, Bauer said.
When the call had first come in, Upton said they had received conflicting reports from eyewitnesses about multiple suspects in ski masks, which was later determined to not be true.
However, the initial misinformation may not have been the only thing hindering deputies in their initial investigation, according to Bauer.
“There was a deputy on scene within a minute of us getting the call,” said Bauer. “But we received the surveillance footage more than 25 minutes after the robbery occurred.”
Bauer said that the delay to hand over the footage was caused by the victimized business sending the closed circuit footage to a third party before they handed it over to law enforcement.
“It’s incumbent upon the business to hand over that footage because it helps us capture a dangerous individual who is now a danger to deputies and the public unnecessarily,” Bauer said.
Deputies said that by the time they had been able to review the footage, over a half-hour had passed since the initial incident, and deputies were forced to check the area for that time without an accurate understanding of the circumstances surrounding the robbery or an accurate description of the suspect.
“We checked the local streets and a mobile home park that’s right nearby,” said Bauer. “But so far, we’ve been unable to locate him.”