POLITICS

A timeline of bank robber Stephen Reid's life of crime and writing

03/03/2015 05:24 EST | Updated 05/03/2015 05:59 EDT
VICTORIA - A timeline of significant events in the life of Stephen Reid, a prolific Canadian bank robber whose was denied full parole following a hearing Tuesday in front of the National Parole Board in Victoria:

1974: Stephen Reid, Lionel Wright and Michael (Paddy) Mitchell, who together became known as the Stopwatch Gang, pull off their first major heist, stealing five boxes of gold bullion worth $785,000 from Ottawa's airport.

1970s-1980s: Members of the Stopwatch Gang — who earned the nickname because they used a stopwatch to time their heists — rob more than 100 banks and armoured cars in Canada and the United States, stealing up to $15 million.

1980: Reid is arrested during an FBI raid in Arizona. At the time, the FBI wanted Reid for 31 robberies in the western U.S. He is later returned to Canada to serve a sentence related to the Ottawa airport robbery.

1986: Reid publishes "Jackrabbit Parole," a semi-autobiographical novel about a gang of bank robbers. The book, which received widespread literary praise, was edited by poet Susan Musgrave, who Reid married the same year.

1987: Reid is released on parole from Kent maximum-security prison near Vancouver.

1998: Reid consults on the film Four Days, which follows the story of a teen bank robber, and makes a cameo appearance as a security guard. The movie is released the following year.

June 9, 1999: Reid, wearing a police uniform and carrying a loaded shotgun, enters a bank in Victoria and steals $93,000 before leading police on a wild chase through the B.C. capital with his accomplice. He was later sentenced to 18 years in prison for robbery and attempted murder for shooting at a police officer.

Jan. 14, 2007: Mitchell, the leader of the Stopwatch Gang, dies of cancer in a U.S. prison.

January 2008: Reid is granted day parole.

February 2011: Reid's day parole is revoked after he was caught driving an uninsured vehicle with 18 clear plastic bags containing contraband U.S. cigarettes.

October 2013: Reid wins the City of Victoria's Butler Book Prize for a collection of essays titled "A Crowbar in the Buddhist Garden:Writing from Prison." The three-panel award jury describes the book as "prison ethnography taut with wit and humanity."

February 2014: Reid is granted day parole.

March 3, 2015: The National Parole Board denies Reid's application for full parole.