RIVERSIDE (CBS/AP) — Federal prosecutors on Friday charged a retired Los Angeles police detective with bank robbery after members of his family called authorities with information about a series of holdups linked to a thief dubbed the Snowbird Bandit.
Randolph Bruce Adair, 70, was charged with one count of bank robbery and accused of using force and intimidation on July 21 to take $1,658 from First Citizens Bank in Rancho Santa Margarita.
Adair is a heavy gambler living on a fixed income who had $1,120 in Del Mar racetrack betting receipts dated July 22 — the day after the robbery — on him when he was arrested, court documents state.
Adair had money troubles, the records show, and had filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in 2000. His family said he also had severe health problems.
Authorities arrested Adair on Wednesday in Rancho Santa Margarita on suspicion of robbery and an outstanding DUI warrant in Riverside County. He is scheduled to appear in federal court on Monday.
Investigators with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department suspect he is the so-called Snowbird Bandit and say they have information linking him to five bank robberies this year in Orange County.
The sheriff’s department said Adair’s wife, daughter and son-in-law contacted deputies indicating they had information about the robberies linked to the Snowbird Bandit, whose moniker comes from his white hair.
After his arrest, when investigators showed Adair the surveillance photos from the robbery, he said, “I’m cooked, I think I should have a lawyer,” according to the court documents.
A loaded black .38-caliber S&W revolver with two “speedy” loaders were found under the front seat of Adair’s car, FBI investigators said.
Adair, who retired in 1988 after more than 20 years with the LAPD, earned $34,305 in pension last year with $12,640 in other benefits.
Bank robbery carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.
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