Police renew calls for information on serial bank robber 'L.A. Bandit'
Rachael D'Amore, CTV News Toronto
Published Wednesday, December 5, 2018 11:28AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, December 5, 2018 1:15PM EST
Police in Toronto are renewing calls for information about the identity of the so-called “L.A. Bandit” – a man accused in a string of bank robberies over a seven-week span.
The five robberies occurred in Toronto, London, and Durham Region in April and May of this year.
“It was a very short duration that all of these robberies were committed,” Toronto Police Acting Insp. Lauren Pogue said at a news conference on Wednesday. “There is nothing we can attribute to this suspect since then.”
The first robbery took place on April 7 in Toronto’s Church and Wellesley neighbourhood.
Police say the suspect entered a bank near Yonge and Wellesley streets, approached a teller and placed a blue knapsack on the counter in front of him.
“He placed his hand inside (the bag), indicating that he had a gun,” Pogue said.
The suspect made a demand for money and, after receiving an undisclosed quantity, left the bank.
“During the robberies, he was wearing dark sunglasses and his hair was covered with a baseball cap,” Pogue said, noting his attire was similar in all the cases.
“On the initial robbery he was actually wearing an L.A. Dodgers hat and was dubbed the L.A. Bandit.”
The second occurrence happened five days later on King Avenue in Newcastle, Ont.
The suspect waited about a month after that to strike again, police said, hitting a bank in Toronto in the Bloor Street and Spadina Avenue area on May 16. In this incident, Pogue said, the suspect was sporting a black beard and moustache.
Two days after that, the suspect is alleged to have robbed a London, Ont. bank near Oxford and Richmond streets.
The last incident took place again in Toronto, on May 26, at a bank in the Kingston Road and Victoria Park Avenue area.
Though the suspect claimed to have a firearm in each case, Pogue said no gun has ever been seen by victims or witnesses.
On Wednesday, police released additional security camera images and video of the accused, as well as the description of a possible getaway vehicle used during the robbery in London on May 18.
The vehicle is described as a white, 2014-2016 model, two-door Mercedes CLA 250.
The suspect, meanwhile, is believed to be 25 to 35 years old, six-feet, with dark facial hair.
“We have no information as to where this person may be from at this time,” she said.
“We haven’t seen a vehicle in any other robberies, so we’re not sure (how he got away in the other cases). We believe he’s operating on his own. He was actually seen getting into the driver’s seat of that vehicle.”
Anyone with information about the incidents or suspect is being asked to contact Toronto police or Crime Stoppers anonymously.