LYNNFIELD (CBS) – A man wanted for one of the biggest bank robberies in the history of Cleveland, Ohio eluded authorities for 52 years by settling down in Massachusetts.
The U.S. Marshals Service said Friday they have solved the mysterious disappearance of Ted Conrad. Conrad was a 20-year-old teller at a bank in Cleveland when he left work on July 11, 1969 with $215,000 and was never seen again.
Investigators searched for him for years, chased leads across the country and even featured him on America’s Most Wanted and Unsolved Mysteries.
The U.S. Marshals said the case stayed cold until this week when they came to Massachusetts and positively identified him as Thomas Randele of Lynnfield.
“From what I know about him and what I learned, he was a great family man, he was friends with the police in those areas, and from my understanding even friends with federal agents in that area,” said U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott. “Nobody knew his true identity. He was literally the man living next door that nobody really knew.”
Randele died of lung cancer in May. The Marshals said they were able to match documents that Conrad had filled out in the 1960’s with documents Randele had written, including when he filed for bankruptcy protection in Boston in 2014.
“I’m still grieving the loss of my husband, who was a great man,” his wife Kathy Randele told Cleveland.com.
One of America’s Most Wanted Fugitives Identified After 52 Years. Mystery solved of Ted Conrad, who pulled off one of the biggest bank robberies in Cleveland, Ohio history. pic.twitter.com/Jg4cbDmkfH
— U.S. Marshals (@USMarshalsHQ) November 12, 2021
The Marshals said Conrad was obsessed with the 1968 Steve McQueen movie “The Thomas Crown Affair,” which was about a millionaire businessman who robbed banks for fun.
“Everything in real life doesn’t always end like in the movies,” Elliott said. Elliott’s father was also a U.S. Marshal who spent decades searching for Conrad before his death in 2020.