NEWS
02/15/2017 16:55 EST | Updated 02/16/2018 00:12 EST

Police seek suspect in sexual assaults in Toronto, Collingwood

Toronto police and Ontario Provincial Police are seeking a single suspect in two sexual assaults, one in Toronto during the summer of 2015 and the other in Collingwood, Ont. on New Year's Day, 2017.

The first assault took place at about 1:00 a.m. on July 28, 2015, near Dufferin Street and Rogers Road in Toronto. A 23-year-old woman was approached from behind, dragged into a laneway, and sexually assaulted by a man described as being "brown, mid-20s, 5'5" - 5'6", with a slight beard."

The man was wearing a black baseball hat, a black t-shirt, black jeans, and a black hoodie with white drawstrings.

The second assault took place in Collingwood more than a year later, on January 1, 2017, on Birch Street at Second Street.

At approximately 1:20 a.m., a woman was pulled into a vehicle and sexually assaulted by a man described as being "brown, late-20s-to-early-30s, average build with a large mid-section, thin beard, 5'6" - 5'7"."

The man was wearing a blue t-shirt, black pants, and a black baseball cap with a white logo. He drove a 2005 to 2010 sedan, either silver/gray or tan in colour, with black steel rims.

Connection between 2 assaults

Spokespeople for the OPP and Toronto police told CBC Toronto they have made a connection between the two assaults, but could not comment on exactly what that connection is as the investigation is ongoing.

"There has been information that's been gleaned from both investigations that [does] lead officers to believe that the same man could be responsible for both incidents," said Toronto police spokeswoman Meaghan Gray.

Gray said police could release more information about the cases to the public over the next few weeks.

Police are asking anyone with information about the man to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS, or online at www.222tips.com.