The reward for a man wanted in connection with at least 17 bank robberies across Canada is now $50,000 after a cash boost from the Canadian Bankers Association Wednesday.
The man, known as the 'Vaulter Bandit' is wanted for a string of bank robberies in Hamilton, Ottawa, the GTA and Calgary in 2010 and 2011.
The suspect is known for walking into banks and jumping over the counter and demanding money. The new reward adds $30,000 to an initial reward offered by the CBA in 2011.
Toronto police Staff Inspector Mike Earl said "I truly believe he's hiding in plain sight. Probably living a normal life other than committing these crimes." Earl added "we're not talking lottery winning money here. He has to be doing something else."
Earl said, "he's managed to elude us for four years."
Toronto police announced that the new reward was prompted by a recent robbery that took place in Toronto on May 4, 2014. Earl said the suspect approached bank workers at 7:00 a.m. that morning. "He managed to escape with a quantity of cash," Earl said.
Earl described the robberies as "well planned and that's how he managed to elude police for four years."
The string of robberies started in York Region and police speculate he may be from that area. They described him as clearly athletic and fit and methodical. He makes no obvious effort to disguise himself, but video of his crimes show him wearing a track suit in one, a suit in another. He's varied his methods.
One of several videos released by police shows him locking the bank doors after entering at gunpoint right after employees arrived.
Police would not say how much money he has been able to steal.
The CBA announced the increased reward Wednesday for information that leads to an arrest and conviction. Bill Crate of the Canadian Bankers Association said "we hope this will encourage people to provide some information that will stop this individual."
The man has been described as being white and in his 40s or 50s.
Anyone with information can call the Toronto Police Hold-Up Squad at (416) 808-7350 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.