A 52-year-old runaway. The American Marshals, who represent the armed wing of federal justice in the United States, in particular in charge of tracking fugitives, took more than fifty years to find Theodore John Conrad, a man identified as being a former bank employee who one day disappeared with all the contents of the safe. Its story corresponds to one of the largest bank robberies in the history of the city of Cleveland. And one of the easiest to achieve …

The story goes back to July 1969. At 20, Theodore John Conrad found a job behind the counters of the National Bank in Cleveland, capital of the state of Ohio. Like every day, at the end of his working day, he fills his bag with tickets. On Monday, the employee is absent. Out of conscience, his superiors decide to check the contents of his safe … which turns out to be empty. Theodore John Conrad vanished with $ 215,000, which would equal $ 1.7 million today. And inevitably, he directly becomes one of the most wanted men in the country.

He was inspired by a movie to carry out his robbery

And its research took 52 long years to complete. Here are the results of the investigation: since 1970, the fugitive seemed to be living a peaceful life in the heart of the city of Boston, under a new identity, that of Thomas Randele. His house was located right next to the one used for the filming of The Thomas Crown Affair, in which Steve McQueen played the role of a bank robber who stole more than two million dollars.

It is also the repeated viewing of this film that inspired Theodore John Conrad. He kept telling his new friends “that it was easy to take money from a bank”. Investigators managed to – finally – get hold of his identity thanks to a series of documents produced by the thief. But he died in May 2021, a few months before the end of the investigation, at the age of 71.

The Thomas Crown affair © Pexels

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Emily
Emily
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