Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying three men suspected of carrying out a total of seven bank robberies between them.
The crimes happened months ago but police release photos of the men on Tuesday, in hopes that someone might be recognize them.
Speaking at a press conference, Hold-Up Squad Staff Insp. Mike Earl told reporters that the first incident occurred on Nov. 17, 2016 when a man wearing a wig and a jean jacket entered a Scotiabank at 880 Eglinton Ave. East.
That same man then allegedly robbed a TD Bank on Vanderhoof Ave. on Dec. 1, 2016.
“We nicknamed him the Crosstown Bandit,” said Earl. “The suspect is described as male, somewhere in his mid to late 20s or early 30s, brown, 5 foot 9 with a slim build.”
The other incidents occurred in 2017 with one man allegedly carrying out four robberies — the first in Hamilton and three others all around Yonge St. in Toronto.
Each time, surveillance footage shows the man wearing a different Major League Baseball cap.
Police describe him as a 40-year-old black male and say he fled one of the scenes in a taxi cab.
The third suspect robbed a TD Bank on the Danforth on March 12, 2017, police say. The video below shows him wearing sunglasses. Police believe he’s around 25-years-old.
Earl says that a common thread in these cases is that each suspect passed a note to the bank teller.
“All three of these individuals in each robbery indicated they were armed and were going to use their gun if the teller didn’t comply,” said Earl.
Canadian Bankers Association spokesperson Malcolm Chivers wouldn’t say how much money was taken. Instead, he says the priority is on the emotional toll robberies often have on bank employees.
“Some of these instances are traumatic so they do stay with these employees,” said Chivers. “We do provide the employees that have gone through this with all of the professional assistance that we can.”
Last year there were 89 bank robberies in Toronto, police say. Because the crimes happen so quickly, it can take years before the culprit is caught, they say.
They’re hoping that anyone with information about the three suspects will call Toronto Police Service’s Hold-Up Squad at 416-808-7350 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477).