Thief-writer-thief wins day parole
Jan 30,2008 00:00 by UPI

VICTORIA, British Columbia - A former bank robber who became an author and then fell back into crime has been granted day parole in Canada.

Stephen Reid was eligible for the privilege three years ago, after serving one-third of his 18-year sentence, CTV reported. But the National Parole Board turned him down because officials did not think he was ready to handle partial freedom.

Reid was a member of the Stopwatch Gang in the 1970s and 1980s. The group, which is believed to have stolen millions of dollars in 100 robberies in Canada and the United States, was known for its precise timing and its refusal to use violence. Reid wore a stopwatch during heists, giving the group its name.

During his stint in prison, Reid wrote "Jackrabbit Parole," an autobiographical novel. He also married Susan Musgrave, a novelist who helped him edit the book.

Reid was convicted in 1999 of a bank robbery in Victoria.

The rules of Reid's day parole include staying away from anyone he knows or suspects is a criminal, staying away from victims of his own crimes, staying away from drugs and alcohol, getting drug counseling and counseling from a native elder.

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