Stephen Reid, who was notorious for bank robberies and also acclaimed as an author, has died of a heart attack.
Mr. Reid’s wife, Susan Musgrave, said in a statement on Wednesday that her husband died the previous day in hospital in Masset, B.C., of pulmonary edema and third-degree heart block. He was 68.
Mr. Reid was a former member of the Stopwatch Gang, a Canadian trio that pulled off more than 100 bank heists in Canada and the United States in the 1970s. The Gang was known for swift robberies that rarely lasted more than 90 seconds.
The FBI arrested him and he was returned to Canada and paroled in 1987. In 1999, however, Mr. Reid and an accomplice robbed a Victoria bank, and exchanged gunfire with police as they fled. Mr. Reid was sentenced to 18 years, but granted statutory release in 2015.
The Ontario native was also an author, who published his first novel, Jackrabbit Parole in 1986 – the same year he married Ms. Musgrave. In 2012 he wrote a second book, a collection of essays titled A Crowbar in the Buddhist Garden: Writing from Prison.
In 2013, while serving his final sentence, he was awarded the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize for Crowbar. The three-member jury praised Mr. Reid’s work as a “prison ethnography taut with wit and humanity.”
On Wednesday, Masset Mayor Andrew Merilees said he was mindful of Mr. Reid’s troubles with the law, but knew Mr. Reid as a low-key member of the community, frequently at local events.
“He was always friendly and pleasant. He was enjoyed by most of the community despite his past failings,” said Mr. Merilees, who, as a reader, particularly enjoyed Jackrabbit Parole.
Mr. Reid is survived by his wife of 31 years, Susan Musgrave, his daughters Charlotte Musgrave and Sophie Reid Jenkins, and granddaughters Beatrice Musgrave and Lucca Musgrave.