Hold Up Suspects

By Ron Fanfair, Toronto Police Service Published: 3 p.m. June 22, 2017

Hold Up investigators are appealing for help in two separate serial robbery investigations.

Two images of men with firearms
Security images of suspects in the Red Ryder Bandit robberies

Between August 7 last year and February 2017, a lone man committed six robberies in the city’s east end.

At a news conference at police headquarters on June 22, Staff Inspector Mike Earl said he wore surgical-type masks and was armed with an automatic-style handgun in each of the robberies.

He is described as black, mid-20s, 5’6"-5’8", long hair possibly worn in dreadlocks, cornrows, or an afro style. 

The suspect has been dubbed The Twig Bandit.

“Several of his hold-ups were late at night or early morning and he used a twig or branch to prop open the door after being buzzed in by the night clerk,” said Earl. “…He has been seen using a black Toyota Corolla as a possible getaway car and also a two-wheel Speedy bicycle for a beer-store robbery. In several of the robberies, he is wearing the same clothes.”

Earl said the suspect wore a hard hat and orange vest during a robbery at a CIBC on Saturday, December 10.

Police are also looking for between one and three suspects who committed eight robberies between March 14 and April 11 at fast-food stores in the west end.


Red Ryder Bandits caught on store security camera

“They are hooded and one of them is armed with a lever action-type BB gun which we identified as similar to a Red Ryder,” said Earl. “…These lever-action losers need to be apprehended before they actually shoot someone’s eye out. This gun is known to break skin and could cause serious bodily harm.”

The suspects are described as male black, late teens to early 20s, medium build and height.

“Their faces were covered with some type of bag with eye holes punched out,” Earl said.

During the last robbery, at a store at 2200 Martingrove Rd., just one person with a rifle entered the premises and committed the robbery.

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.


close ups of a man wearing a mask
Security camera images of the Twig Bandit
TPS crest watermark