Another bank robbery in Abbotsford

Another bank robbery has occurred in Abbotsford, and one of the theories police are investigating is that a group is behind the spree.

Abbotsford Police Const. Ian MacDonald

Abbotsford Police Const. Ian MacDonald

Another bank robbery has occurred in Abbotsford, and one of the theories police are investigating is that a group is behind the spree.

The latest incident took place at about 4 p.m. Wednesday at the RBC Royal Bank in the 33700 block of South Fraser Way at the corner of Montrose Avenue. This is the third bank robbery in less than a week and the sixth business robbery since Sept. 4, taking into account three incidents at Subway restaurant franchises.

Const. Ian MacDonald said that In Wednesday’s robbery, a Caucasian man in his late 20s first arose suspicions when he walked into the Royal Bank and stood around for a bit, appearing to be confused about where to go.

When an employee approached him and asked if he needed help, he said he forgot something in his car, and left.

The man returned a few minutes later and stood in line. The employee told her manager that she was suspicious about his behaviour, and the manager took over the teller’s position.

When the suspect got to the counter, he handed the manager a note demanding cash and said he had a weapon, although he did not show it, MacDonald said.

He then fled with cash, and has not been caught.

MacDonald said police are somewhat frustrated that employees did not call to report the suspicious character when he first walked into the bank, especially since public alerts have been issued about the recent rash of robberies in the community.

“I’m happy that everyone is safe … but we really, really need to encourage financial institution employees to contact APD (Abbotsford Police Department) the minute something suspicious is observed.”

The suspect is described as six feet tall, with a slim build and short blondish-red spiked hair. He was wearing a greenish-blue sweater, blue jeans, white and blue runners, and had red-rimmed women’s-style sunglasses perched on his head.

Although he is not believed to be either of the suspects who committed simultaneous bank robberies on Saturday, MacDonald said police are considering whether they might all be connected.

The other two robberies occurred at about 2:10 p.m. Saturday at Coast Capital Savings and RBC Royal Bank in the 31900 block of South Fraser Way. Lone men entered each business and produced notes demanding cash. They did not have weapons nor did they suggest they were carrying any.

Both were Causcasian, in their 20s and with slim builds. One had gapped teeth, and the other had large bulging eyes.

Subway robberies on Sept. 4 and 6 took place at the location in the 2600 block of McMillan Road, and the third was on Sept. 21 in the 31900 block of South Fraser Way – in the same shopping complex as the simultaneous bank robberies. All took place just before 10 p.m., when staff were preparing to close for the night.

The suspect in all three cases was described as Caucasian, in his 40s, 5′ 3″ to 5′ 5″ and with a thin build and scruffy beard. In all three, the man was holding a handgun by his side, although it’s not know whether it was real or a replica.

No suspects have been arrested in any of the incidents, although police have identified some “people of interest” based on past criminal history. Video surveillance is also being reviewed.

Anyone with information is asked to call the APD at 604-859-5225 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.