For the third time since August, a TTC fare collector has been robbed at gunpoint and now police believe the same man is responsible for all three robberies.
"In my view, this is brazen, bold and almost a slap in the face to the TTC and the police," said Staff Insp. Mike Earl, when speaking to reporters for the second time in a week about an armed robbery at a TTC station.
The latest robbery happened Sunday night at Chester Station on the Bloor-Danforth line.
At about 10:30 p.m. a man walked into the station armed with a handgun.
He stole an undisclosed amount of money from the fare collector and fled the scene.
The fare collector was not injured.
Earl estimated that the entire robbery transpired within a couple of minutes.
"It may seem like hours to a victim who has a gun pointed at them, but the reality is, it’s very quick, probably less than a couple of minutes," he said.
TTC CEO Andy Byford said Monday he's shocked and angry at news of another robbery inside a TTC station.
"I want to make a point of making sure my collectors know that we're putting their safety and their security as the top priority," said Byford. "Ultimately I want this person caught."
Sunday’s incident is similar to an Aug. 6 robbery, also at Chester Station, in which a man wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and a bandana over his face pointed a gun at the fare collector and stole cash and Metropasses.
Later in August — on the 26th — Toronto Police believe the man involved in the Aug. 6 robbery used a handgun to rob a fare collector at Christie Station.
Police said Monday they now believe the same suspect is responsible for all three robberies.
They describe him as white, 25 to 30 years old, around six feet tall.
Collector shooting still unsolved
In February 2012, a TTC fare collector was shot at Dupont station, though police believe that was a different suspect.
The worker was hit twice but survived.
The shooting remains unsolved and the TTC has posted a $25,000 reward for information about that shooting.
Byford said since the 2012 shooting, the TTC has strengthened the glass at its booths and introduced debit payment so there is less cash on hand.