Santa Barbara authorities are on the lookout for a man who reportedly robbed a woman at gunpoint in the La Cumbre Mall parking lot before forcing her to drive him to the Municipal Golf Course near Las Positas.

According to city police spokesperson Lt. Paul McCaffrey, the incident occurred at 4:23 p.m. Thursday afternoon. In a press release, McCaffrey stated that the female victim had been shopping at the mall and was on her way back to her car when she was confronted by a man with a handgun who demanded her money. He was described in the press release as “either Caucasian or Hispanic, 5-6 to 5-7 in height, and medium build” and was reportedly wearing a grey cap, white t-shirt, and blue jeans.

Police search for the the suspect involved in the La Cumbre Plaza robbery-kidnap.
Paul Wellman

After pocketing the victim’s cash, the gunman purportedly forced her to drive him to the city golf course — located on McCaw Avenue — where she dropped him off in the parking lot and immediately afterward called police. The victim, said McCaffrey, was unharmed.

Responding officers closed down the golf course and nearby buildings, including the restaurant and pro shop, as they searched for the suspect. Authorities also reportedly canvassed a large area around the course including the grounds themselves, Adams Elementary School, Earl Warren Showgrounds, and Loreto Plaza.

Police continue to hunt for the suspect, and urge anyone with information to call (805) 897-2355.

[UPDATE:]At 5:20 p.m., city police arrested Brian Carver, 37, in what has been described as a case of armed robbery and kidnapping. According to a press release issued by Lt. McCaffrey, Carver – who matched the eyewitness’s physical description but had changed clothes – was apprehended as he as walking near the Mobile Gas Station on Las Positas Road.

After hours of interrogation, detectives unearthed enough evidence to tie Carver to the incident. He will, said McCaffrey, be booked into county jail on charges of armed robbery and kidnapping, and his bail is set at $1,000,000.


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