That title sounds crazy, right? I met this guy who was a chef at a popular restaurant and bar in my neighborhood. We met at the bar next door to where he worked and we ended up hitting it off and hanging out. The morning after the first time he spent the night, we started talking out our pasts. He revealed to me that he had been a bank robber when he was a teenager. He robbed over 40 banks in Canada, where he is from. He told me how he did it. He would go to a town many hours from where he lived and stay in a motel for a few days. He would check out the banks and choose which he would hit. (I don’t recall if he told me how he chose which bank.)


He knew the best time of day, time of month, and day of the week when there would be the most money in a cashier’s drawer. I think he said he would go on a typical payday, when people are likely to cash their paychecks, early in the morning before the amount was diminished. He would give a note to one cashier; get everything they had in their drawer, and leave. I don’t recall if he had a gun, but I would assume he did. He did this, as I said for over 40 banks. He was a teenager, and his mom had no idea what he was up to, until he finally got caught.


He then told me how he got caught. It was a traffic violation. A cop saw him roll through a stop or something right after he had robbed a bank, and when he got pulled over, they figured it out. He got three years in jail, but since he was a minor, half of the time was spent in some sort of juvenile detention center, and then he got put in prison. Instead of being alarmed or thinking “this guys a criminal!” I was actually impressed. While most teenagers are doing nothing impressive, this guy took the initiative and was crafty enough to rob over 40 banks. When he was caught, they linked him to 14. He actually got away with two-thirds of them. I don’t know if he was able to stash that money somewhere. He said that of the 14 banks they convicted him for robbing, he had only actually robbed 13 of them, so he got charged for someone else’s robbery. I think that both annoyed and amused him.


As if that wasn’t a crazy and unbelievable story that seems hard to top, there’s more!


He said he’d been married for seven years until recently. He left his wife because she was sleeping with their neighbor that he thought was his friend. It was going on right under his nose. Needless to say, he was very hurt by it and he decided the marriage was over. But before that happened, during the time they were still together, they used to cater (as I said he was a chef) private parties for rich San Franciscans, and they would perform sex in front of the party. This was their business. He said they made a lot of money doing it! He named names. I can’t say whose, but one person is a very well-known older gentleman who owns nightclubs and is gay. For some reason, I was told they had sex at parties full of gay men often. That was so bizarre to me.


These unbelievable stories came with a few more. He had a few tales of trying to get across the Canadian/ US border without proper paperwork. He was a Canadian in the U.S. illegally, so he was working here with a false Social Security number. For some reason, even though he married an American and could have got legit paperwork, he either lost it or couldn’t afford to straighten it out so he could only work with someone else’s Social Security number or under the table.


All this might sound like this guy was a bad guy, but the truth is, I don’t think that at all. On the contrary, he was a good man. Very good to his friends, thoughtful, selfless, and he would likely give you the shirt off his back. How many people can you truly say that about? He was very involved with his church, and he volunteered at a collective for wayward boys, where he gave them motivational speeches, cooked for and fed them, and helped them get jobs and find homes. He also volunteered and worked with the San Francisco tenants union to try to keep people from getting unlawfully evicted. He was so well liked at his church that when he left his wife and had nowhere to go, they let him live at the church for a while.


He also played music and did a radio show. I stopped seeing him because he was more into me than I was into him, and I wasn’t looking to get involved. He was a good person, but I didn’t want to be in a relationship with him, so I cut it off. He got fired from the restaurant for stealing food. My friend told me that and I told her there was more to the story. I know why he stole it. He stole food from the restaurant to feed the young homeless guys at the center where he volunteered. When I told my friend that, she saw him differently. Although stealing is obviously wrong, this really was to the core, a good human being. I ended up letting him be in my life longer than I do with most guys I don’t want to get involved with, simply because I can honestly say he was one of the most interesting people I have ever met. He looked like Jesus, and was a modern day Robin Hood.


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