Cleveland Bank Heist Mystery Solved After 52 Years


Jenifer Urzua, Reporter

Over the past 50 years, detectives have been searching for the one that got away.

Thomas Randele pulled off one of the biggest bank robberies in Cleveland history. His cause of death was lung cancer back in May.  His real name was Theodore Conrad, and he was living his best life. Not only did he become a golf pro, but he also sold luxury cars. He started a life and family, known simply as  “a fixture in a small town”.  Before he took his last breath, there was something he had to confess to his family- he told them he was the one behind a large bank robbery.

This happened when he was just 20 years old. He started off as a bank teller at the Society National Bank in Cleveland where he ended up walking out with a bag containing about $215,000.

Nobody suspected anything – the theft wasn’t discovered until a few days later, then he was never seen again.

Conrad liked to brag to his friends that robbing from the bank would be easy, even indicating plans to do so. He was obsessed with the 1968 film “The Thomas Crown Affair.” In the movie, actor Steve McQueen played a millionaire businessman who treats bank robbery as a sport. 

John K. Elliott helped investigate the case, “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,” he said in a statement. “Everything in real life doesn’t always end like in the movies.”

The case was featured on shows such as “America’s Most Wanted” and “Unsolved” where some believe Conrad watched chilling on his couch up in the sky.