Toronto

'Lunchtime bandit' behind 5 bank robberies sought by Toronto police

Toronto police say a clean-cut man in his early 20s is behind at least five bank robberies in the city.

'We're trying to get this preppy punk off the street,' says hold-up squad investigator

Toronto police released this photo of a suspect in five bank robberies, four of which were committed during the lunch hour. (Toronto Police Services)

Toronto police say a clean-cut man in his early 20s is behind at least five bank robberies in the city.

Staff Insp. Mike Earl of the hold up squad dubbed the man the "lunchtime bandit," because four of the five robberies have taken place around 12:30 p.m. He's even hit the same bank twice, Earl said.

In each robbery, the man, who makes no attempt to cover his face, calmly hands a well-written note to tellers saying he's armed and to hand over money. 

Earl said the bank robberies began in late November. Now, he said police want to give terrorized bank tellers an early Christmas present by arresting the man.

"We're trying to get this preppy punk off the street," Earl said at a Tuesday news conference.

"We want to put an end to this spree."

Police say the robber doesn't disguise his identity. The image on the right is the only picture of him not wearing a winter hat. (Linda Ward/CBC)

Earl said the man has been targetting banks in the Yonge and Davisville and Yonge and Lawrence areas, which could indicate he lives, studies or works in the area. After one robbery, he used the subway to flee the scene.

Police initially released images of the suspect on Dec. 8, but still haven't had any luck identifying him. He is described as standing between 5-10" and six feet tall.

Earl said somebody out there must know the man and encouraged anyone with information to contact police or Crime Stoppers anonymously. 

Earl declined to say how much money the man has stolen from banks.

"It's not about the cash," Earl said, adding that robberies are traumatic incidents for the tellers involved.

now