Meet The Retired LAPD Detective Turned Prolific Bank Robber

Casey Harper | Contributor

Being 70 years old, on the edge of death, and a retired Los Angeles Police Department detective didn’t stop one California man from going on a prolific string of alleged bank robberies.

Investigators are pursuing federal charges against Randolph Bruce Adair, who was arrested Wednesday after his own family tipped off authorities to his alleged spree of bank robberies. Police believe Adair, who was an LAPD detective for more than 20 years and was having serious health issues, was involved in a series of robberies this year in Orange County, Calif. attributed to the “Snowbird Bandit.”

Kateri Fogleman, Adair’s daughter, saw the news reports of the robbery and recognized her father. She couldn’t believe it but knew she had to turn her dad in.

“I went into freaking out and shock,” Fogleman told The Orange County Register. “I fell to my knees. I was absolutely stunned. Paralyzed.”

Adair was booked for robbery and an outstanding warrant. He retired as a detective in 1988. Adair’s family said living off a pension and struggling with health issues may have contributed to the decision.

Adair’s family said he worked at local high school football games and even coached his own team.

His health began to deteriorate. He reportedly suffered six heart attacks and kidney failure as well as brain damage, which his family believes may have contributed to his decision to rob the banks.

“It was the right thing,” Fogleman told The Orange County Register. “I knew we had to do it.”

The robber, nicknamed the “Snowbird Bandit” because of his white hair, used a revolver to steal cash, The Los Angeles times reports. The bandit’s five robberies occurred within just a few months, the most recent on Tuesday.

  • March 20 – California Bank & Trust, Dana Point
  • May 22 – First Citizens Bank, Rancho Santa Margarita
  • June 11 – Wells Fargo Bank, Mission Viejo
  • July 6 – U.S. Bank, Ladera Ranch
  • July 21 – First Citizens Bank, Rancho Santa Margarita

The robber didn’t escape without leaving behind a few surveillance photos for the scrapbook.

Here's an image of the bank robber from surveillance footage. Police say the man is Randolph Bruce Adair.

Here’s an image of the bank robber from surveillance footage. Police say the man is Randolph Bruce Adair.

Orange County Sheriff's Department

Orange County Sheriff’s Department

Randolph Bruce Adair, Orange County Sheriff's Office

Randolph Bruce Adair, Orange County Sheriff’s Office

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