Bank clerk got away with 1969 Cleveland bank heist

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Theodore John Conrad walked out the front door of the Cleveland bank where he worked one day in July 1969 with a paper bag containing $215,000 in cash and was never seen again.

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Conrad, then just 20, became one of the country’s most wanted criminals after pulling the inside job at the Society National Bank where he worked as a clerk.

Fifty years later, the U.S. Marshals finally found him — in a Massachusetts cemetery six months after he died of lung cancer.

But what a ride!

The Cleveland bank didn’t realize they had been ripped off until the following Monday when Conrad failed to show up for work. He had gotten away with the 2021 equivalent of more than $1.7 million.

Conrad had a two day head start and cops would never catch him.

According to the New York Post, Conrad had been obsessed with the 1968 Steve McQueen caper movie The Thomas Crown Affair and saw it more than a dozen times.

He would even brag to pals about how easy it would be to rip off the bank.

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The man who got away with it: Theodore John Conrad. MCDONALD FUNERAL HOME
The man who got away with it: Theodore John Conrad. MCDONALD FUNERAL HOME

And then he did it.

The Marshals said they followed leads in Washington DC, California, Texas, Oregon and Hawaii, but Conrad never turned up.

In the ensuing half century, Conrad settled in the Boston suburb of Lynnfield, Massachusetts where he went by the name “Thomas Randele.” He raised a family and worked as a golf and tennis pro, also selling luxury cars.

Conrad was 71 when he died in May of lung cancer.

The Marshals got a positive identification two weeks ago, the famed agency said.

Peter J. Elliott, U.S. Marshal for Northern Ohio, said he knew the case well. His father spent more than 20 years investigating the robbery and never stopped looking for Conrad.

“I hope my father (who died in 2020) is resting a little easier today knowing his investigation and his United States Marshals Service brought closure to this decades-long mystery,” he said. “Everything in real life doesn’t always end like in the movies.”

bhunter@postmedia.com

@HunterTOSun

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