12/13/2012 17:12 EST | Updated 02/12/2013 05:12 EST

Gun-wielding suspect sought in 8 brazen robberies

Police are looking for a man who robbed eight grocery stores across Metro Vancouver and a Toys "R" Us filled with holiday shoppers.

"The level of violence in these robberies appears to be escalating," said Detective Constable Joe Danieli of the Vancouver Police General Investigative Unit.

"We are concerned for the safety of the public and want to see this man arrested before someone gets hurt."

Witnesses describe the suspect as white, 60 years old, and five feet 10 inches tall with a heavy build and short grey hair. During the robberies, he was wearing a baseball hat and dark sunglasses and was seen driving a black 2006 to 2010 Ford Explorer with black wheels.

Anyone who sees this man or this vehicle is warned not to approach him and to call 911 immediately.

Anyone with information about these robberies is asked to call the Vancouver Police General Investigative Unit at 604-717-3200 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Recent robberies:

- Saturday, March 31 at 7:33 p.m. — Safeway, 1650 Marine Dr., West Vancouver

- Saturday, April 14 at 6:43 p.m. — Super Valu, 3230 Connaught Cres., North Vancouver

- Sunday, May 6 at 6:55 p.m. — Queensdale Market, 3030 Lonsdale Ave., North Vancouver

- Saturday, May 12 at 7:03 p.m. — Extra Foods, 7190 Kerr St., Vancouver

- Thursday, October 11 at 6:38 p.m. — IGA Marketplace, 3535 W.41st Ave., Vancouver

- Friday, October 26 at 5:55 p.m. — Choices Market, 8683 10th Ave., Burnaby

- Saturday, November 17 at 6:01 p.m. — Choices Market, 1880 W. 57th Ave., Vancouver

- Saturday, December 1 at 5:40 p.m. — Toys "R" Us, 333 Brooksbank Ave., North Vancouver