‘I was alone’: B.C. woman warns others after robber tries to force her to go to ATM

Manj Sidhu-Gill was alone in a parking lot on Jan. 15, when a man approached dressed in all black

An Abbotsford woman has sent out a warning to other women on social media after a man – who claimed to have a knife – tried to rob her by forcing her to a bank ATM.

“If I was a man, I guarantee you he would not have approached me, it’s just because I was female and I was alone,” Manj Sidhu-Gill said. “Ladies, please be safe and if your gut tells you something isn’t right, just listen to it.”

On Jan. 15, as Sidhu-Gill was leaving her job on South Fraser Way and Clearbrook Road around 4:15 p.m., she was approached by a man in the parking lot. She said he was dressed in all black and had the hoodie of his jacket tied around his face.

“I didn’t even think as to why his head was covered because it was freezing cold. I thought he was just trying to stay warm,” Sidhu-Gill said. “I actually thought about offering him my gloves.”

“He said, ‘I’ve got a knife to your back, right here on your kidney.’”

She said the man had his hand pressed to her back and she didn’t know if he actually had a weapon, but she wasn’t taking any chances.

Sidhu-Gill said, at first, he tried to bring her to a nearby RBC but changed course once he saw people inside. He redirected her towards the Coast Capital ATM, as it had closed due to the weather.

“I saw people come out of the Royal Bank. As soon as I saw them, there was no thought process, I just ran, screaming at the top of my lungs: Call 911! He’s got a knife! Call 911!”

She said her efforts caught the attention of the people leaving the RBC and the robber took off.

Abbotsford police are aware of the incident and an investigation is ongoing, according to Sgt. Judy Bird, media officer for the department.

Shortly after the incident, Sidhu-Gill made a post on social media to warn other women about her experience.

She said women shouldn’t become to comfortable in public spaces if they are alone, even if the area is familiar to them.

“I’ve been [working in this complex] for 10 years and I’ve never had something like this happen, so I was just too comfortable,” Sidhu-Gill said. “I was alone, the parking lot was completely empty.”

“There were no cars, none whatsoever. [The surrounding businesses] were all closed. Nobody was there.”

Sidhu-Gill said she’s talked to counsellors who told her she’s handled the situation well, but other might be more damaged by a similar scenario.

“I’m not traumatized by it, I’m not worried, but I will be taking extra precautions now.”

On the evening of Jan. 16, a day after the robbery attempt on Sidhu-Gill, a man was arrested for the attempted robbery of a different woman at a bank ATM in the same area.

Scott Kuebeck, 32, was charged with robbery, disguising his face with intent to commit a crime and possessing a weapon for dangerous purposes.

RELATED: Abbotsford bank ATM robbery thwarted by woman standing her ground

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATE: North Island Green Party nomination still to be determined

Moen says all issues should be viewed through environmental lens

COVID-19 has caused many changes for Port Hardy Fire Rescue so far this year

Port Hardy Fire Rescue’s first and second quarterly reports for 2020 were reviewed by council.

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

NDP candidate Babchuk a fixture in local politics since 2005

School trustee, city councillor and regional district chair sets sights on being North Island MLA

Sointula elementary school gets funding for new playground

Funding for the new playground comes from the provincial government’s Playground Equipment Program.

Weekend sees 267 cases, 3 deaths in B.C.; Dr. Henry says events leading to COVID spread

There are currently 1,302 active cases in B.C., while 3,372 people are under public health monitoring

Shawnigan Lake’s Kubica gets 25 to life for murder in California

Former Shawnigan Lake man convicted of killing woman in 1990

Liberals seek to fast track new COVID-19 aid bill after CERB expires

Government secured NDP support for legislation by hiking amount of benefits by $100 to $500 per week

B.C. VOTES 2020: Echoes of HST in B.C. debate over sales tax

Cannabis, tobacco, luxury cars still taxed in B.C. Liberal plan

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

She warned her son about toxic drugs, then he was dead

Donna Bridgman’s son died at the age of 38 in Vancouver

Duration of Tour de Rock stop in Chemainus much shorter than usual

Four alumni riders don’t get to come for breakfast in COVID year

B.C. food and beverage producers set record sales in 2019

Farmed salmon again leads international exports

Police seek help in naming Cowichan farm stand theft suspect

Video captured man prying cash box out of stand on Norcross Road

Most Read