For the non Ottawa resident, this bank was in an area highly culturally enriched by Somali’s.
City’s 4th robbery involving use of the Muslim religious headscarf
Last Updated: Friday, December 31, 2010 | 10:37 AM ET Comments64Recommend25
Ottawa police are investigating a series of bank robberies by a man or men wearing a hijab.
The latest incident, on Thursday afternoon, occurred when a man in the headscarf worn by some Muslim women robbed a bank at Pinecrest Mall in the city’s west end.
Const. Katherine Larouche said a man, wearing a dark blue hijab covering his mouth and nose, and a long dark blue robe, handed a Scotiabank teller a note around noon, demanding money.
The suspect fled the bank with an undisclosed amount of cash. No weapon was seen and there were no injuries.
The suspect is described as a dark-skinned male, about five-foot-10, with a slim build, dark eyes and bushy eyebrows. He spoke English with a slight accent.
Since the summer, there have been at least four robberies, each involving a man donning the religious garb. But police were unable to determine whether the same man was involved each time.
“This is not the first time he has hit a bank in Ottawa,” Larouche said. “There is no way of saying for sure, but sometimes descriptions given by witnesses bear some similarity and a hijab is sort of out of the ordinary.”
Anthony Skinner, acting sergeant in the Ottawa police robbery unit, said his team will piece together reports from the other incidents to determine if the same person is responsible for each robbery.
However, Skinner said, the general stature and disguise lead police to believe it is the same man.
“It [wearing a hijab] is not something that has commonly been used,” Skinner said. “To wear traditional or religious garments to commit robberies is not something that we see frequently, but I wouldn’t call it bizarre.”