Further to yesterday’s post of a bank robber, I am inviting you today to meet another Canadian bank robber: Kevin John Pinto.
A former financier, as vice-president at an investment firm, he was also known as the Exchange Bandit because of his habit of engaging bank tellers in conversation about U.S. exchange rate before giving them a holdup note.
Beginning in 2002, Pinto robbed 10 banks throughout Ontario; in October 2008, he surrendered to police. He then pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to six years in prison.
Pinto would commit his robberies during his lunch hour. He was a compulsive gambler who turned to crime in trying to pay his accumulated gambling debts, which far outweighed the total amount he stole.
Pinto is out now, and he says the corrections system doesn’t know how to properly handle gambling addiction. In 2012, he shared his experiences at the Ontario Problem Gambling Provincial Forum, along with health experts such as researchers from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. He wants to help gamblers, and get the word out there that gambling should be better recognized as an addiction. He suffered withdrawal, like nightmares and major anxiety, just like other addiction. He says the corrections system just don’t know how to handle gambling addicts.