A life of crime is often romanticized unjustly.
But sometimes, it actually is romantic.
A man who became one of America’s most wanted fugitives when he robbed an Ohio bank more than 50 years ago was finally identified by US Marshals — six months after he died, officials announced Friday.
Theodore John Conrad was 20 and working as a teller at the Society National Bank in Cleveland, when one Friday in July 1969, he pulled off one of the biggest heists in the city’s history, by quietly filling a paper bag with $215,000 in cash and leaving.
It wasn’t until the following Monday, when Conrad didn’t show up for work, that the bank checked it vault and discovered the cash — equivalent to more than $1.7 million in 2021 — was missing.
By then, the former employee already had a two-day head start ahead of law enforcement — and they would never catch him.
His case went cold, eluding investigators for 52 years. It became part of Cleveland lore, and was featured on TV’s “America’s Most Wanted” and “Unsolved Mysteries.”
Detectives followed leads on Conrad’s whereabouts across the country, including Washington DC, California, Texas, Oregon and Hawaii, the US Marshal Service said in a statement.
Turns out all those years, Conrad had been living under the name Thomas Randele in the quaint Boston suburb of Lynnfield, Massachusetts. He’d had a family and worked as a golf and tennis professional and car salesman, according to Randele’s obituary.
US Marshals said they positively identified Randele as Conrad two weeks ago.
He died of lung cancer in May 2021 at the age of 71.
It’s funny and fitting that he got away clean, only to be identified months after death.
You can’t do this anymore. There are too many cameras.