By Alfea C. Donato
Bank heists and helicopter chases aren’t particularly common in Calgary, but Megan Darcy Melnyk hardly sounds like a common bank robber.
The Calgary Herald reports that the 27-year old ex-student association president has been charged with robbery, possession of a prohibited weapon and committing an indictable offense while disguised, following the alleged heist at Servus Credit Union on Wednesday.
Her arrest closely follows Melnyk’s presidential resignation from the Students’ Association of Mount Royal University (SAMRU) last month. According to The Reflector, this came shortly after an unfavourable periodic review of the student group.
The review stated that it “identified several potential anomalies and policy compliance issues.”
The Toronto Sun writes that bank staff were able to identify Melnyk’s license plate and helped a police helicopter locate and arrest her. Reportedly, a weapon was found in her car and the stolen money was recovered.
Melnyk is no stranger to criminal charges. According to the CBC, police stated that there were outstanding warrants for her arrest on charges of fraud, uttering forging documents, and a breach of probation. In 2008, she was giving probation for stealing a SUV, and pleaded guilty in 2010 for applying for a social insurance number.
Police stated that the crime involved a fairly high degree of planning, but did not reveal her intentions. Although police won’t identify Melnyk’s motive, online commenters generated enough speculation for them.
One CBC article commenter wrote “Oh PLEASE cite rising tuition costs as your motive. All students everywhere will love you forever.”
Others were more bewildered with their judgment. Mount Royal University political science professor David Taras told the National Post, “I can’t imagine a situation like this ever happening in a Canadian University.”
The CBC reports that Melnyk has recently been granted $6, 000 bail and restricted to living with her aunt in Didsbury. She has been banned from Mount Royal University and any establishment with video lottery terminals.