POLITICS

Reward for bank robber dubbed the Vaulter being raised to $100,000

05/15/2015 04:00 EDT | Updated 05/14/2016 05:59 EDT
AURORA, Ont. - The Canadian Bankers Association is doubling its reward to $100,000 for a bank robber that police have dubbed the Vaulter.

York Regional Police and Peel Regional Police joined the association Friday at a news conference in Aurora, just north of Toronto, to make the announcement.

Det.-Sgt. Mike Fleischaker of the York holdup squad said the robber became known as the vaulter for jumping over the counter during robberies — 19 across Canada over the past five years.

The most recent was in Peel Region, west of Toronto.

Police released new images in the hope someone will recognize the bandit. They plan to contact hotels and motels in areas where the robberies have been committed.

Police say the suspect should be considered armed and dangerous.

Fleischaker said the bandit works alone, and is believed to carry a police scanner and scout locations well before striking and leaving the area.

Past rewards and appeals to the public have generated leads, but have not led police to the suspect.

"We've generated well over 100 persons of interest, a large number of these persons of interest bear a very similar resemblance to the vaulter bandit," Fleischaker said.

"Facial recognition attempts through several different databases have proven to be negative. Geographical and other types of profiling have been done to identify who our suspect might be. Predictive analysis has been done as well as a number of other traditional investigative steps."

Investigators from the Toronto area, Ottawa, Hamilton, and Calgary say they're working together to make images of the robber public in the hopes that someone will be able to identify him.

Last year, Toronto police Det. Sgt. Mike Earl described the suspect as very athletic — jumping over bank counters like a hurdler while holding a handgun.

Police say the robber first struck in York Region north of Toronto in February 2010 and since then has hit banks in Mississauga, Hamilton, Vaughan, Toronto and Ottawa, as well as some in Calgary.

Last June, the Canadian Bankers Association raised the reward to $50,000 from $20,000.