Infamous bank robber finally identified after 50 years on the run

An infamous bank robber from the USA has finally been identified more than 50 years after his crime, although he has already died and was never brought to justice.

Theodore John Conrad shot to the top of the United States’ most wanted list at the age of 20 when he was working as a bank teller at the Society National Bank in Cleveland, Ohio.

In July 1969, he walked straight into his workplace and pulled off one of the most daring – yet simple – heists ever.

He just stuck about $215,000 in cash into a paper bag quietly and then walked straight out.

They only discovered that the money had gone on the next Monday when Conrad didn’t turn up for work.

Credit: McDonald Funeral Homes
Credit: McDonald Funeral Homes

That’s when they checked the vault and discovered that the cash – equivalent to around $1.7 million today – was gone.

Of course, by that point he was two days gone and the law never managed to catch up with him.

It turns out that the bank worker had been obsessed with the film The Thomas Crown Affair, in which Steve McQueen’s character robs a bank with a team of criminals, and decided that he’d like to do something like that himself.

In the end, he managed to do it better than in that film, and with very little fuss, too.

Apparently, Conrad had even bragged to his mates about how easy it would be to rob his place of work, and told them about his plans.

Evidently then never though he’d actually do it, but do it he did.

Credit: US Marshals
Credit: US Marshals

Then, he successfully spent 52 years on the run, whilst detectives chased shadows after him.

Meanwhile, Conrad had been living under the name Thomas Randele in a Boston suburb called Lynnfield.

He’d raised a family as well as working a job as a golf and tennis professional, as well as a car salesman, according to his obituary.

US Marshals positively identified him two weeks ago, although he’d died at the age of 71 back in May 2020.

Peter J. Elliot, one of the US Marshals, said that he knew ‘all too well’ about the case, because his own father had spent 20 years working it.

Credit: Google Maps
Credit: Google Maps

In a statement, he said: “My father, John K. Elliott, was a dedicated career Deputy United States Marshal in Cleveland from 1969 until his retirement in 1990.”

Elliott said that his father ‘never stopped searching for Conrad and always wanted closure up until his death in 2020.’

He added: “I hope my father is resting a little easier today knowing his investigation and his United States Marshals Service brought closure to this decades-long mystery,

“Everything in real life doesn’t always end like in the movies.”


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