Retired LAPD Detective, 70, Suspected of Being ‘Snowbird Bandit,’ Robbing 5 Orange County Banks: OCSD

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A 70-year-old retired Los Angeles Police Department detective was identified Thursday as the “Snowbird Bandit,” who robbed five Orange County banks between March and July, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

Randolph Bruce Adair, of Rancho Santa Margarita, was arrested Wednesday after several family members saw media reports about the “Snowbird Bandit” and contacted investigators, according to OCSD.

Details regarding what information family members were able to provide was not given, and a booking photo was not released due to the ongoing investigation.

Adair is suspected of robbing five banks:

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

The former detective worked with the LAPD some 30 years ago, according to OCSD Lt. Jeff Hallock.

“It’s shocking and it’s unfortunate,” Hallock said.

Neighbors were surprised by Adair’s arrest and told KTLA he seemed like a normal man.

“He would just be on his porch smoking cigars and just watching the neighborhood,” neighbor Chris Zeif said. “Just talking to people when they walked by – ‘How are you doing? How is everything?’”

Hallock said Adair’s motive was not known, but “generally speaking” robbers have issues with addiction.

“(Robbers) will indicate that a lot of time the bank robberies are as a result of some type of addiction, whether it’s a drug addiction or a gambling addiction or something like that,” Hallock said.

Adair was arrested on suspicion of robbery and an outstanding warrant and held in lieu of $205,000 bail at an Orange County jail.

Investigators planned to pursue federal charges, the OCSD news release stated.

Anyone with additional information was asked to contact the Sheriff’s Department at 714-647-7000 or the Bank Robbery Apprehension Team at 949-939-8699. Anonymous tips could be submitted to Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855-847-6227 or at occrimestoppers.org.

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