Former LAPD detective arrested after family links him to ‘Snowbird Bandit’ robberies
A retired Los Angeles Police Department detective arrested after family members tipped off authorities was charged with bank robbery by federal prosecutors on Friday after he told investigators: “I’m cooked, I think I should have a lawyer.”
Randolph Bruce Adair, 70, was taken into custody this week in connection with five bank robberies in Orange County between March and July attributed to the so-called Snowbird Bandit.
The criminal complaint filed against him in U.S. District Court on Friday charges Adair with a single bank robbery in his hometown of Rancho Santa Margarita, about 60 miles (100 km) southeast of Los Angeles.
No motive for the crime is spelled out in the complaint, but in an attached affidavit an FBI agent referred to Adair as a “heavy gambler” on a fixed income and noted that some $1,100 in betting receipts from the Del Mar Racetrack were found in his car.
According to the affidavit, Adair was arrested after his wife, daughter and son-in-law contacted authorities to say that they had recognized his photo, taken by bank surveillance cameras, in an FBI bulletin about the Snowbird Bandit.
The FBI agent wrote in the affidavit that when Adair, who retired as an LAPD detective in 1988, was shown the photos by an investigator, he responded: “I’m cooked, I think I should have a lawyer.”
A loaded .38-caliber revolver was found in his car, according to the court documents.
Adair is being held in lieu of $205,000 bail and is expected to make an initial court appearance on Monday. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison if convicted.
Following his arrest, an Orange County Sheriffs spokesman said Adair was considered a suspect in all five Snowbird Bandit robberies. It was not immediately clear if he would face additional charges
The man responsible for the Snowbird Bandit robberies earned that nickname after witnesses described him as being an older male, possibly a retiree.
In their latest release about the robberies, the FBI described the Snowbird Bandit as a man with white hair in his late fifties or sixties.
Photos from the robberies show what appears to be a white man with a mustache who wears dark glasses and a baseball cap or straw hat. The agency said the robber displayed a revolver as he demanded cash from tellers.
(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)
Watch a report on Adair’s arrest, as aired on KABC-TV, below.