SAN DIEGO — A woman in San Diego, known as the "Burqa Bandit," could spend years in prison, but says she would do it all again, if it would help her son.
Surveillance photos allegedly show Elysia Roiz, in a maroon Burqa, attempting to rob a bank in National City, California last summer. The FBI says she passed a note to the teller, demanding money, but she fled when the teller hit the panic button.
Roiz claims that she is not a habitual thief, but fell on hard times and was having trouble caring for her son, who has special needs.
“I know in other countries they’ve outlawed it, because of people, mostly men hiding firearms inside burqas, and I don’t think it was fair of me to exploit that, but what better costume,” she told ABC 10 News. “I don’t want to be disrespectful, but I mean, that stuff is so oppressive, like I mean, we fought a lot in the 70s, women did, so that kind of stuff didn’t happen, doesn’t happen.”
The executive director of San Diego’s Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) says he is outraged after learning about Roiz's choice of attire.
“It is absolutely hurtful,” he said. “It is obviously ignorance. No one has or should use any symbols or clothing of religioun in order to commit any crimes.”