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Bank Teller Disappeared 52 Years Ago with $215,000 in Cash, And They Just Found Him

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Theodore John Conrad was only 20 years old when he retired for life, according to the U.S. Marshals Service. The young man worked as a teller at the Society National Bank in Public Square in Cleveland and previously bragged to friends that it was easy to lose large amounts of money.

Conrad was also a devoted fan of the 1968 film “The Thomas Crown Affair,” which, according to IMDb, is about a “debonair, adventuresome bank executive” who “believes she’s got the perfect multi-million dollar heist, just to match the brains of a sexy insurance investigator who will do anything to get her man.”

Conrad was so fascinated with the dashing Steve McQueen and his actions that he planned his own theft. The tire hit the road on July 11, 1969, the Marshals Service said in a News release on Friday.

It was a Friday, the end of the work week, when Conrad coldly loaded $ 215,000 (the modern-day equivalent is at $ 1.7 million) in a brown paper bag. He chose 1,500 $ 100 bills, 1,200 $ 50 bills and 250 $ 20 bills.

Then he disappeared. He changed his name, date of birth, lifestyle and location.

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Ang bank didn’t realize what happened until Monday when Conrad didn’t come in for work and they discovered the missing $ 215,000 – but by that time, he already had two solid days to lose.

The story went wild. People thought they saw him in California, in Paris, in Hawaii-and may have been seen by a couple, when they visited the bar at the Princess Kaiulani Hotel in Waikiki about three months after his disappearance.

They talked to a young man at the bar. When they mentioned they were great Ohio, the young man excused himself and disappeared, but he had already shared some details about his life.

Deputy US Marshal David Siler said with the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force KITV-TV in 2017 they knew he was in the area, but the couple was able to provide them with more information.

“We tracked him from Cleveland to Washington Reagan National Airport to Los Angeles, and the last stop we knew was in your great state of Hawaii and we believe there was someone on that island who knew him, knew him or had short stint relationship with him, ”Siler recalled.

“As soon as they mentioned Cleveland, Ohio, he stood up, said oh excuse me, I have to use the bathroom, he left.

“He has an apartment. Suppose, he is renting that apartment so if he is renting that apartment, it means he has contacted someone, a landlord, someone and he is paying cash which is obviously for his apartment.

But he disappeared again, leaving little trace.

For 52 years, he was not tracked by authorities – until they made a breakthrough this year after comparing documents Conrad filled out in the 1960s with documents filed by “Thomas Randele” in previous years.

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Apparently, Conrad changed his name to Thomas Randele, had a wife named Kathy and a daughter named Ashley, became a local golf professional and made a 40-year career selling expensive cars.

“This past week, we met Thomas Randele as Theodore J. Conrad,” U.S. Marshal Pete Elliot said, according to Daily Mail. “He led an unpretentious life in the suburbs of Boston, was greatly liked in his community.”

While he lived in Lynnfield, Massachusetts, his ill-gotten gains didn’t serve him very well: He filed for bankruptcy in 2014.

And even if his identity is finally confirmed, it’s too little, too late. Conrad died in May, age 71, from lung cancer.

In fact, his wife and daughter had no idea about his theft until he told them of his death. His obituary said he loves golf, cars and cooking, and he spends a lot of time perfecting his skills and trying out new recipes for his wife and daughter.

For Elliot, the case is personal. His own father was also a U.S. marshal who died last year and never saw the case closed.

“This is a case I know very well,” Elliot explained in the Marshals Service news release. “My father, John K. Elliott, had a dedicated career as Deputy United States Marshal in Cleveland from 1969 until his retirement in 1990. My father had an early interest in this case because Conrad lived and worked near us. in the late 1960s.

“My father never stopped looking for Conrad and always wanted to close until his death in 2020. We were able to match some of the documents my father discovered from Conrad’s college days in the 1960s with documents from Randele which led to his identity.

“I hope my father rests a little now because he knows his investigation and his United States Marshals Service are closing in on this decades -old mystery. Everything in real life doesn’t always end like in the movies.”

This article originally appeared on The Western Journal.

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.



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