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

Maple Ridge’s Eileen Robinson celebrated international Trails Day by hitting the Trans-Canada Trail in her hometown. It’s marked on the first Saturday of June, and encourages people to get out and use and enjoy their local trails, which both Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows have many. (Special to The News)
SHARE: Celebrating Trails Day by getting outdoors

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon

Shail Wolf admires the ancient tree the protesters have dubbed the grandmother. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
OUR VIEWS: Old-growth can kicked down the road

Latest deferral avoids a difficult conversation about how, when to stop logging our oldest forests

Maple Ridge brothers Paul and Johnnie Walker hit the trails at Rolley Lake, just across the border into Mission. Johnnie did the modelling both with the downed tree and at the waterfalls.(Special to The News)
SHARE: Discovering fun on Rolley trails

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of June 13

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Valerie Miller met a small child at the vigil at the Maple Ridge bandstand, and found it an uplifting encounter during a dark time. (Special to The News)
LETTER: Encounter at Maple Ridge’s orange shirt memorial a bright spot

A small child showed the relentless optimism of kids

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

Most Read