“I’ve known Stephen Reid since we were both in our early 20s… Our lives have intersected many times since then. In a way, his story is also mine.”
In a particularly personal broadcast, the fifth estate’s Bob McKeown traces the career of, and his friendship with, the always fascinating, charismatic, and confounding Stephen Reid.
For decades, Stephen Reid has captured the imagination of Canadians — an outlaw bandit who robbed banks with stopwatch precision, a fast-talking charmer, and master of disguises who twice escaped prison, a reformed convict and accomplished best-selling author, nad a loving father and husband. It seemed Stephen Reid’s story might have a Hollywood ending. But real life isn’t so kind. The master of the quick get away, Reid couldn’t escape the life everyone thought he’d left behind. Canada’s most famous bank robber is now back on the inside, serving out an 18-year sentence and searching for redemption behind bars.
During a crime spree that spanned decades, Reid and his cohorts earned their name from the stopwatch he wore around his neck as they robbed banks all across North America. Among the Stopwatch Gang’s notorious scores were the biggest Canadian gold robbery ever, the biggest bank job in San Diego history ($283,000 US) and about 100 other bank jobs from Seattle to Miami to Montreal, bagging some $15 million.