02/21/2013 12:02 EST | Updated 04/23/2013 05:12 EDT

Toronto police call for help to ID gasoline-throwing robbers

Toronto police are calling for the public's help in solving a Scarborough robbery case where two men threw a cup of gasoline in the face of a convenience store owner.

Two men, described as white males in their early 20s, entered Snowy Convenience near Markham Road and Lawrence Avenue last October, dressed all in black, police say. One man was armed with a knife, and the other held a hammer and a cup from Wendy's filled with gasoline, which he threw in the face of the store owner behind the counter.

Staff Insp. Mike Earl of the Toronto police hold-up squad told a news conference on Thursday morning that he believed this was a "personal attack" on the store owner.

"[This] probably is the first time in my career that individuals were carrying a cup of gas to commit a robbery… There's something that's more than just a robbery," he said.

"They didn't need to go the extra step and throw the gasoline in the face."

The two assailants then demanded cash, took an amount of money and a quantity of cigarettes and put them into a duffel bag before fleeing on foot, police said.

The store owner suffered irritation and burning in his ears from the gasoline, said Earl.

Earl said he believed the two suspects were from the area, and were familiar with the convenience store.

He added that the two men probably told someone they committed this act of violence, and called for anyone with information to contact Toronto police or Crime Stoppers.

One suspect was described as a white male, between 6 feet tall and 6 feet and 3 inches tall with a stocky build and dark brown hair. He was wearing a black ski mask, dark sunglasses, a black hooded sweater with a grey shirt underneath, dark pants and black gloves.

The other suspect is described as a white male, between 5 feet 7 inches tall and 5 feet 8 inches tall, wearing a black toque, dark sunglasses, black jacket, denim pants and black gloves. He was seen carrying a black gym bag.