A historic bank heist 52 years ago was investigated by two U.S. Marshals — who were father and son — but the bank robber evaded them until his passing. The decades-old cold case in Ohio has finally been solved, but only after the "most wanted" suspect passed away.
On Friday, July 11, 1969, a 20-year-old employee of Cleveland's Society National Bank stole $215,000, which is the modern equivalent to $1.7 million. The bank teller, Theodore "Ted" Conrad, "walked into his job ... [and] walked out at the end of the day with $215,000 in a paper bag and vanished," according to the U.S. Marshals Service. The heist was one of the biggest bank robberies in Cleveland history.
The bank didn't realize that it had been robbed until Monday. When Conrad didn't report to work, it tipped off police that he was the suspect.
Authorities would never track down Theodore Conrad to charge him with the bank robbery. However, law enforcement finally cracked the cold case on Friday — 52 years later.
The bank robber was previously featured on "America's Most Wanted" and "Unsolved Mysteries." Investigators chased leads on Conrad's whereabouts around the country, including Washington D.C., Inglewood, California, western Texas, Oregon, and Honolulu, Hawaii. However, Conrad moved to a suburb of Boston and was living by the alias Thomas Randele.
He set up a new life in Massachusetts, marrying Kathy (Mahan) Randele, with whom he had a daughter. The bank robber became a local golf pro and sold luxury cars.
"He was a fixture in a small town," Cleveland.com reported. "The stolen money didn't last, as he had struggled financially in recent years, records show."
In a statement released on Friday, the U.S. Marshals revealed that Conrad was inspired by the "The Thomas Crown Affair" movie from 1968.
"A year before the Cleveland bank robbery, Conrad became obsessed with the 1968 Steve McQueen film 'The Thomas Crown Affair,'" the statement read. "The movie was based on the bank robbery for sport by a millionaire businessman, and Conrad saw it more than a half dozen times. From there he bragged to his friends about how easy it would be to take money from the bank and even told them he planned to do so."
It is likely that Conrad was so obsessed with the movie that he changed his name to "Thomas," the same first name as McQueen's "Thomas Crown" character in the movie.
Conrad moved to a suburb of Boston, not far from where "The Thomas Crown Affair" movie was filmed. The film was one of the first movies almost entirely filmed around Boston.