Police Detain Man Believed To Be Snowbird Bandit After Family Tip-Off

| by Jordan Smith

Police in California have detained a former Los Angeles Police Department officer who they suspect of being behind five bank robberies since March.

Randolph Adair was turned in by family members after they thought they recognized pictures of him in media reports. The robber had been given the nickname the Snowbird Bandit due to his white hair and age.

“I went into freaking out and shock,” said Kateri Fogleman, recalling the moment she realized the suspect was her father. “I fell to my knees. I was absolutely stunned. Paralyzed.”

Even after the couple arrived at Adair’s home, Fogleman was struggling to cope.

“This can’t be true,” said Fogleman, according to an interview with the Orange County Register. “I was frozen, in shock.”

Adair allegedly committed his first robbery March 20, before others followed on May 22, June 11, July 6 and July 21. According to NY Daily News, the thief had a revolver during some of the heists.

Officers detained Adair on July 22.

The 70-year-old served for more than 20 years as a police officer in Los Angeles, and was involved in some high-profile cases. He was one of the officers who arrested Robert Kennedy’s assassin in June 1968.

“You could see some bruises where they had wrestled him down,” Adair commented in a 1998 interview with the Register. “He had a wild look in his eye. He didn’t say a word. We got the people pushed back and the other officers handcuffed him.”

After his retirement, Adair worked for several years as a line judge and head linesman for high school football games.

In 2010, he started having health problems. He required nine hours of heart surgery after suffering an aneurysm.

In 2013, he experienced six strokes, which doctors say resulted in brain damage.

Although Fogleman did not want to make excuses for Adair’s actions, she said that his health may have had an impact on his uncharacteristic behavior.

“It’s insane. How does a walking dead man rob a bank?” she said. “He’s ill. There’s no other explanation.”

Adair is likely to face federal bank robbery charges, the Register reported.

Sources: NY Daily News, Orange County Register/ Photo credit: FBI via NY Daily News