Toronto police are asking for the public's help in identifying a suspect -- dubbed the "lunchtime bandit" -- they allege has robbed five banks in the city in the past month.

Staff Insp. Mike Earl says a man in his mid-20s enters the banks, usually between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m., poses as a customer, then hands over a note to the teller that says he is armed and demands cash.

All the robberies occurred along the subway line on Yonge St.

He says the man hasn't pulled a gun, but the incidents have had a traumatic effect on the bank employees, some of whom have not returned to work.

Earl says the notes were well written with proper grammar and the suspect was well dressed, with a medium build.

He says the man doesn't fit the bill of a usual suspect and must be "down on his luck."

"We're hoping to give the tellers and bank employees an early Christmas present by trying to get this preppy punk off the street before he goes on to commit further robberies," Earl told reporters on Tuesday.