A store assistant was threatened with a gun as she started her shift on Sunday morning (December 2).
The 57-year-old woman was at the rear of the Spar Tarbolton store to open a shutter at 6.45am when a man wearing a dark balaclava appeared behind her and produced the weapon.
The suspect demanded she open the door but fled when the alarm was raised.
He is white, between 5ft 8in and 6ft, slim and spoke with a local accent. The man was wearing a navy bomber jacket, dark trousers and was a carrying a sports holdall.
Detective Sergeant Craig Semple from Ayr CID said: “From witnesses spoken to so far we understand that the suspect had been sitting at the bus stop across from the Spar for some time prior to the incident.
“Extensive enquiries are ongoing and in particular I would like to speak to a man and a woman who walked past the suspect at around 6am and appeared to stop and look at him.
“The man is described as in his early 20s, with dark hair swept to the side and wearing a tartan or checked shirt.
“The woman is described as having long dark hair and wearing a cream top.
“The suspect was not wearing the balaclava when he was waiting at the bus stop and I would appeal to anyone who noticed him sitting there, or anything at all suspicious, to please get in touch.”