Man ‘obsessed’ with ‘Thomas Crown Affair’ identified as suspect in one of biggest bank robberies ever in Ohio

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December 25 2021 12:00 am

CLEVELAND (WJW) — One of America’s most wanted fugitives — a suspect in one of the “biggest bank robberies in Cleveland history” — has been identified.

The US Marshals Service Northern District of Ohio made the announcement Friday, saying the 52-year-old mystery is now solved.

According to the US Marshals Service, in the summer of 1969, Theodore John Conrad walked into his job at the Society National Bank on Public Square where he worked as a bank teller.

The 20-year-old then allegedly walked out that day with $215,000, which authorities say is about $1.7 million in 2021.

When Conrad didn’t show up for work a couple days later, the bank checked their vault and realized the money was missing.

“From there, Conrad, and the money he stole, had a two-day head start on law enforcement,” the US Marshals Service said in a press release.

Over the years, Conrad was featured on shows like “America’s Most Wanted” and “Unsolved Mysteries.”

There were leads that took investigators to places like Washington, D.C.; Inglewood, California; western Texas; Oregon; and, Honolulu, Hawaii.

The US Marshals Service said the case remained cold until this past week when marshals from Cleveland went to Boston and identified Thomas Randele of Massachusetts as the ” fictitious” name of Theodore J. Conrad, the suspect in the Cleveland bank robbery from 1969.

Investigators learned that a year before the robbery, Conrad had become “obsessed” with the film “The Thomas Crown Affair,” a movie based on the bank robbery by a millionaire businessman. “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,” authorities said in the release.

The US Marshals Service said the Boston suburb where the suspect was found was near the location where the original “Thomas Crown Affair” film was made.

According to the release, investigators were able to match documents Conrad had completed in the ’60s with documents Randele completed, including ones when he filed for bankruptcy in 2014.

Randele died of cancer in May of 2021.

“This is a case I know all too well. My father, John K. Elliott, was a dedicated career Deputy United States Marshal in Cleveland from 1969 until his retirement in 1990. My father took an interest in this case early because Conrad lived and worked near us in the late 1960s. My father never stopped searching for Conrad and always wanted closure up until his death in 2020. We were able to match some of the documents that my father uncovered from Conrad’s college days in the 1960s with documents from Randele that led to his identification. 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,” Peter J. Elliott, United States Marshal for Northern Ohio, said in the release.

More information about this case will be released Friday afternoon.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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