Whether it’s Patrick Swayze in a Ronald Reagan mask or a woman holding up a McDonald’s with a girdle stretched over her face, robbers will wear just about anything to hide their identity from those being robbed. But sometimes a person walks into a bank wearing a mask not because he’s a criminal, but because he just underwent chemotherapy.
Last Friday, a 57-year-old man in California headed into his local Wells Fargo sporting a surgical mask. He’d just had a chemo session the day before to treat his lymphoma and was wearing the mask to minimize his exposure to germs.
He even explained as much to the teller who he says kept providing reasons why his transaction couldn’t be completed.
What he apparently didn’t know about the existence of the accurately named “Surgical Mask Bandit,” who is believed to be responsible for at least two bank robberies in the area, all performed while wearing
a brown paper bag over his head a surgical mask.
And so, he says he was surprised to turn around and see he’d been surrounded by a half-dozen police officers.
The man was questioned by police, who also searched his car. Ultimately, he was released and received an apology.
Comparing his appearance to the Surgical Mask Bandit, the Wells customer says, “To me, he doesn’t look anything like me.”
Masked Cancer Patient Walks Into Bank, Mistaken For Wanted Robber [CBS Los Angeles]