Police have released surveillance camera footage of two suspects wanted in connection with a “violent” and “brazen” bank robbery in North Toronto.

The suspects, one of them armed with a black handgun, walked into a TD bank on Victoria Park Avenue near Sheppard Avenue shortly before 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 3.

According to Staff Insp. Mike Earl, the armed suspect then latched onto a man who was trying to exit the bank and pushed him to the floor while the other suspect jumped over the bank’s counter, grabbed a female teller by the throat, slapped her across the face, pulled her hair and demanded cash.

After the teller complied and filled a plastic bag with a quantity of money, the suspects both fled in an unknown direction.

The female teller was unharmed, though the man who was pushed to the floor did suffer minor injuries as a result.

“What makes this different from other robberies is the violence that took place,” Earl told reporters Wednesday morning. “That was an animal act to grab that poor lady, throttle her by the throat and use excessive violence to get what they really just had to ask for. There was no need for this whatsoever.”

The suspects were both dressed in dark coloured clothing and had their faces obscured, one with a ski mask and the other with a polka dot bandana.

According to Earl, police have not been able to link the robbery to any other incidents, but continue to investigate the possibility.

“We have talked to our cohorts in the GTA, and there are some robberies they very well could be responsible for but they are so covered up with their clothing it is hard to tell,” he said. “MO (modus operandi) wise we don’t have any other robberies like this where a teller was literally throttled.”

Earl said there was a few dye packs in the bag of money and as a result the suspects likely had “substantial dye” on their clothing or their body after the robbery.

Earl said by publicizing the surveillance camera footage he is hopeful someone may recognize the suspect’s clothing or remember seeing someone of similar stature with coloured dye on their person.

“What I am hoping for is that someone can take their mind back to that point of time and identify these individuals,” Earl said. “It is important that we apprehend them as quickly as possible.”

The first suspect is described as black and about five-foot-eight. He was last seen wearing blue jeans, black clothing and a black bandana with white designs.

The second suspect is described as black, about 20 to 30 years old, six feet tall and 180 pounds. He was last seen wearing a black ski mask and black clothing and carrying a plastic Dollarama bag.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at (416) 808-7300 or Crime Stoppers at (416) 222-TIPS (8477).

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