Austrian Police Offer Reward to Identify Burqa-Wearing Bank Robber


Austrian police have offered the public a 2,000 euro reward to identify a man who robbed a Vienna bank while disguising himself as a woman wearing the Islamic veil.

The unknown man robbed a bank in the Vienna district of Simmering on June 16 but police in the Austrian capital have been so far unable to determine his identity and are now reaching out to the public for information, Kronen Zeitung reports.

Nicknamed the “Burqa-Phantom”, the man left a note on the desk of the bank demanding cash and produced a golden pistol while being handed several thousand euros. The six-foot-tall man, believed by investigators to not be from Austria originally, fled the scene on foot but a witness was able to photograph him in a nearby courtyard without his burqa.

Investigators are also looking into connections to another robbery in July, which also involved a man disguised in an Islamic veil, rob a bank in the district of Floridsdorf. One of the workers in the bank began screaming during the robbery leading to the man putting his pistol away and using pepper spray on several people, fleeing the area.

Later that month, another bank was robbed in the city of Linz by a suspect also wearing an Islamic headscarf. Each case saw the same financial institution robbed, leading investigators to look for possible connections between them.

The number of foreign criminal suspects in Vienna has drastically increased in recent years with a new report from the Austrian Interior Ministry showing that foreign-born suspects make up more than 50 percent of the total number of suspects in the city. Across the rest of the country, foreigners account for nearly half of criminal suspects.

Austria is also one of the European countries to have banned the wearing of the full-face Islamic veil in public, passing a law last year after being pushed by Sebastian Kurz who now leads the country as Chancellor.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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