Man nicknamed 'LA Bandit' wanted in 5 bank robberies in Southern Ontario
Police say 3 banks in Toronto, 1 in Durham Region, 1 in London, Ont. were robbed in spring
Toronto police say a man they have nicknamed the "LA Bandit" is believed to be responsible for five bank robberies in Southern Ontario this year.
The string of robberies occurred over seven weeks in the spring — three in Toronto, one in Durham Region and one in London, Ont.
In security camera video of the first robbery, the man wears a Los Angeles Dodgers baseball cap.
At a news conference on Wednesday, police released security camera video of the man entering a bank in Toronto in the first of the string of robberies. The video includes other images of him, including closeups, and a photo of a car he allegedly drove following the London robbery.
"We believe he is operating on his own," Acting Insp. Lauren Pogue, spokesperson for Toronto police's hold up squad, told reporters.
Police said they hope members of the public will come forward to help investigators identify the man.
The alleged getaway car is a white, two-door Mercedes CLA 250, believed to be a 2014 to 2016 model.
"We have no information as to where he may be from," Pogue said.
Police alleged he was involved in the following incidents:
- On Saturday, April 7, at about 10 a.m., a man entered a bank in Toronto in the Yonge Street and Wellesley Street area. He was seen wearing an LA Dodgers baseball cap, dark sunglasses and a scarf covering his chin and neck area. He approached a customer service agent, placed a blue backpack on the counter and put his hand in the backpack. He made a verbal demand for money and indicated he had a gun. He was given a sum of money and he left the bank.
- On Thursday, April 12, at about 10:40 a.m., a man robbed a bank in Newcastle, Ont. in Durham Region, in the area of King Avenue West.
- On Wednesday, May 16, at about 10:30 a.m., a man robbed a bank in Toronto in the Bloor Street West and Spadina Avenue. He had a black beard and moustache and was seen wearing a "distinctive" jacket with a yellow stripe.
- On Friday, May 18, at 9:30 a.m., a man robbed a bank in London in the Oxford Street East and Richmond Street area.
- On Saturday, May 26, at about 3:15 p.m., a man robbed a bank in Toronto in the area of Kingston Road and Victoria Park Avenue.
The "LA Bandit" was featured in a CrimeStoppers video in June.
He is described as having a light brown complexion, about 25 to 35 years of age, about six feet tall, with dark facial hair. During robberies, he wears dark sunglasses and his hair covered by a baseball cap.