In an attempt to catch a bank robber who has evaded police for the last four years, the Canadian Bankers Association (CBA) has increased its reward for a second time since September 2011.
Dubbed the Vaulter Bandit because of his athletic ability to scale bank counters, his last robbery was committed at a TD bank in the Don Mills Rd. & Lawrence Ave. E. area on May 5. The suspect showed up at the bank at around 7 a.m. and confronted employees as they were unlocking the doors.
He produced a handgun and ordered the employees into the bank, where he managed to escape with a quantity of cash.
This is believed to be the suspect’s first bank robbery in Toronto since he started stealing from banks in early February 2010.
He has also robbed nine banks in York region, four in Calgary and one in Ottawa.
The suspect is descried as white, between 5’8” and 5’10” with a medium build. Most times he wears glasses, which could be a prop.
“He’s bare-faced and not making any effort to hide his identity in the initial stages of the robberies,” Hold Up Staff Inspector Mike Earl said at a press conference at police headquarters on June 18. “I am sure this individual is hiding in plain sight. He’s going to be known to neighbours, brothers, sisters and friends and he’s probably living a normal life other than committing these crimes.
“We don’t have any reason to believe the individual is a drug abuser or has any type of habits whatsoever that stand out. He seems to be utilizing this money for everyday living expenses. He’s committing these crimes across the country and we are trying to put an end to this very long spree of robberies.”
Earl said the suspect is methodical and the robberies are well planned.
“We have witnesses who believe they saw him in a small silver car, similar to a Jetta, in the area of the bank at the time of the Toronto robbery or even days before that robbery,” Earl said.
In September 2011, the CBA offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect. The reward was increased to $20,000 three months later.
It’s the risk that this crime poses to innocent people that we are concerned about and not the money that’s lost
Bill Crate, the CBA director of security and intelligence, announced at the press conference that the reward has been further increased to $50,000.
“Robbery is a personal and predatory crime and the desperation and unpredictability is what makes it so dangerous for not just our customers, but also our employees,” he said. “It’s the risk that this crime poses to innocent people that we are concerned about and not the money that’s lost… We will not give up until this individual is caught. We will not quit.”
York Region Police Inspector Fred Moffat also attended the press conference.
“The reason that this individual sticks out is because he has not been caught in four years,” said Moffatt, in charge of the York Hold Up Squad. “We have exhausted many tips that have come from the public, adopted many investigative techniques and means and pored over previous files, all the way back to the 1990s. The locations in York region are spread right across the bottom end, indicating to us he’s familiar with the region. He’s very precise in what he does. He comes into banks and seems to know what he wants and where he’s going.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-7350, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416−222−TIPS (8477), online at 222tips.com, text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637), or Leave A Tip on Facebook.