York Regional Police are asking for the public's help in identifying a man they believe may be linked to six bank robberies in their area this year.

"The suspect has an authoritative and controlled voice, is physically fit, portrays a calm demeanour and does not appear to make any attempts at a disguise," police said Monday in a news release.

"The suspect seems to have knowledge of bank security protocol and for this reason investigators feel he has committed similar crimes."

The latest two robberies occurred Friday in Vaughan, part of four on the day in York region. In an unrelated event, two men held up two separate banks in Markham earlier in the same morning.

At approximately 10:45 a.m., the male suspect entered the Bank of Nova Scotia branch located at 9600 Islington Ave. in Vaughan.

"(He) jumped over the banking counter, indicating he had a gun," police said.

About 15 minutes after that robbery, a suspect that matched the same description hit a TD Canada Trust branch at 154 Woodbridge Ave.

In that second incident, a witness told police they had seen a black handgun in the suspect's waistband.

The Vaughan suspect was described at the time as a white male about 40 years of age. He is 5'7" and has a medium build. He was wearing glasses, a baseball hat, blue jeans and is believed to be driving a black pickup truck.

Here are the earlier incidents:

  • Wednesday, Feb. 3: A lone male entered the Royal Bank at 8165 Yonge St. in Markham at 10:15 a.m. He produced a silver handgun, climbed over the counter, emptied the cash drawers and left
  • Thursday, Feb. 4: A lone male entered the TD Canada Trust at 231 Main St. in Markham at 11:20 a.m. He used the same technique as the Feb. 3 robbery
  • Monday, June 7: A lone male entered a Scotiabank at 101 Main St. North in Markham at 11:20 a.m. He jumped over the counter, took cash from the drawers and placed it in a black attaché case. While fleeing, he pulled up his top and let people see a silver handgun
  • Friday, June 11: A lone male entered the Scotiabank at 7700 Bathurst St. in Vaughan at 10:45 a.m. He jumped the counter, pushed the teller out of the way and placed the money he took into a black attaché case. He claimed to be armed but no one saw a weapon.

Police say if you are ever caught up in a robbery, co-operate with the suspect and do not fight back. Instead, try to remember the best description possible of the robber.

Businesses should keep their video surveillance equipment well-maintained, they said.

Police ask those with information to contact Det. Doug Cole of the York Regional Police Hold-up Unit at 1-866-876-5423, ext. 6630.

People can leave anonymous tips at Crime Stoppers (1-800-222-TIPS) or online at www.1800222tips. They can also text tips to CRIMES (274637). Address your message to TIP YORK.