Tips have led the arrest of a man on bank robbery charges and police are hoping that the public will help them, once again, to apprehend two serial bank robbers on the loose for the last seven months.
An individual dubbed “The Tunnel Rat Bandit” allegedly committed eight bank robberies in the city from January to March 2015.
At a news conference at police headquarters on July 28, Hold Up Staff Inspector Mike Earl said information from the public, after the Canadian Bankers Association (CBA) and Toronto Police announced a $10,000 reward on May 13, led to the arrest of Ryan Patrick Flaherty on July 18.
He was arrested and charged with nine counts of robbery and two counts of wearing a disguise.
“He had fled to the western province of Canada to avoid apprehension and was arrested in Toronto after Hold-Up officers made contact with him,” said Earl.
Earl added that Toronto Police is recommending to the CBA that reward money be paid to some of the tipsters who provided information leading to Flaherty’s arrest.
Police are also hoping that tips from the public will lead to the arrest of the Envelope Bandit and Construction Bandit.
The Envelope Bandit committed a series of robberies between December 2015 and March 4, 2016.
“The investigation has gone cold after his last robbery,” said Earl. “He has always entered a bank wearing sunglasses and some kind of hoodie, presenting a note with a large manila envelope, making a demand for cash and indicating he’s armed. We have several good pictures of him and we are looking for tips.”
The Construction Bandit robbed three Scotia banks between January and March this year. Two robberies were at banks at 4508 Kingston Rd. and 305 Port Union Rd.
“On each occasion, he entered the bank wearing a hat or hoodie and sunglasses and he presented a note indicating he was armed,” said Earl.
He’s described as white, 6’ - 6’ 2”, in his mid-40s-to-early-50s.
Earl said a black four-door Ford Taurus was seen leaving each the robbery scene.
Malcom Chivers of the CBA praised police for Flaherty’s arrest.
“We are very pleased to see this individual off the street and brought to justice,” he said.
Chivers warned bandits that they will be caught if they rob a bank.
“Bank robberies are serious crimes,” he said. “The unpredictability and potential for violence is of huge concern for us. More than the money stolen, it’s actually the innocent people who are affected by these crimes.”
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.