Police arrest the suspect in an attempted armed bank robbery on Wednesday morning (June 2) at the Scotiabank at Gladwin Road and South Fraser Way in Abbotsford. (Photo by Garry Amyot)

Police arrest the suspect in an attempted armed bank robbery on Wednesday morning (June 2) at the Scotiabank at Gladwin Road and South Fraser Way in Abbotsford. (Photo by Garry Amyot)

Suspect charged in relation to thwarted armed robbery at Abbotsford bank

Neil Robert Simpson, 46, has long criminal history, including previous robberies

The suspect in an armed bank robbery in Abbotsford that was thwarted by four customers on Wednesday (June 2) has been charged.

Neil Robert Simpson, 46, has been charged with armed robbery and possession of a firearm, according to the provincial court database.

The incident took place at about 11:30 a.m. at the Scotiabank at Gladwin Road and South Fraser Way.

Police reported later that day that a suspect walked into the bank carrying a shotgun and ordered everyone to lie on the ground.

The person then threw bags onto the counter and demanded money, but was quickly tackled to the ground by four customers.

Officers arrived on scene and arrested the suspect. They confirmed that the shotgun was real.

Neil Robert Simpson in a 2013 police handout photo.

Simpson, who identifies as female, has a long criminal record.

RELATED: 4 customers tackle armed bank robber in Abbotsford

Previous media reports indicate Simpson, then 26, was the subject of a police manhunt after fleeing custody with the help of two armed accomplices on Dec. 30, 2000.

Simpson was being escorted back to prison – while serving time for possession of stolen property and prohibited weapons – after being treated for wounds at a Surrey hospital.

A news article stated that Simpson was taken to hospital after being slashed, but it was later discovered that the wounds were self-inflicted.

As the two unarmed guards and a handcuffed-and-shackled Simpson were leaving, they were approached by a man and a woman armed with a shotgun. They demanded that Simpson be released, and Simpson then got into the back of a stolen vehicle, which sped away.

RELATED: ‘I’m not going to die today’: Abbotsford bank robbery hero speaks out

Simpson later received a six-month conditional sentence and 12 months’ probation for escaping from lawful custody.

A Canada-wide warrant was issued for Simpson in December 2013 after she failed to return to her designated home in Prince George.

Simpson was again in the news in 2017 after being charged with holding up a Prince George bank four years earlier. The charges were thrown out when the judge ruled that the case had taken too long to prosecute.

According to the provincial court database, Simpson has multiple prior convictions for offences such as drug possession, unauthorized possession of a firearm, assault with a weapon, possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose, possession of a stolen vehicle, robbery and using an imitation firearm.

Among the aliases used by Simpson are Speedy, Neil Nugget and Jason Plante, according to the database.



vhopes@abbynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Armed robberyCrimePolice

Just Posted

Brandon Hobbs (turquoise shirt), brother of missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs, gathers with other family and friends to distribute posters in Chilliwack on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Search efforts expand to Chilliwack and beyond for missing Abbotsford man

Family, friends put up posters in Chilliwack, Agassiz, Hope for missing 22-year-old Adam Hobbs

A CH-149 Cormorant from 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron out of CFB Comox on a training exercise in Chilliwack on June 16, 2021. (William Snow photo)
VIDEO: Military search and rescue training in Chilliwack Wednesday

CH-149 Cormorant and CC-115 Buffalo from CFB Comox participated in downed aircraft rescue simulation

Stock photo by LEEROY Agency from Pixabay
Drop-in vaccination clinics slated in Abbotsford for construction workers

Among three sites in Lower Mainland holding no-appointment clinics in June and July

Linnea Labbee outside the Chilliwack Law Courts on April 1, 2021 on day 16 of her trial in BC Supreme Court. Labbee was convicted April 12 for the fatal hit-and-run of 78-year-old Fourghozaman Firoozian on Dec. 1, 2016. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Sentencing hearing scheduled for 72-year-old Chilliwack woman found guilty in fatal hit-and-run

Crown will seek jail time for Linnea Labbee who struck and killed 78-year-old woman in 2016

Chilliwack Spartans Swim Club coach Justin Daly.
Chilliwack Spartans swim coach Justin Daly wins Rubber Boot Award

Daly was recognized in a vote by fellow coaches in the BC Swim Coaches Association

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

B.C. Premier John Horgan leaves his office for a news conference in the legislature rose garden, June 3, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. premier roasted for office budget, taxing COVID-19 benefits

Youth addiction law that triggered election hasn’t appeared

Most Read