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Man, 73, Is Arrested in Bank Heist in Irvine

The suspect's missteps, including using his own car, led to his capture after $1,000 robbery.

November 02, 2002|Monte Morin and Seema Mehta | Times Staff Writers

A 73-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of robbery in Irvine on Friday after a series of slip-ups, police said.

Authorities said Martin Randall parked his car directly in front of Cathay Bank in the 15000 block of Culver Drive just before noon, approached a teller and gave her a note. She handed over more than $1,000, which Randall put in a handbag, police said.

As the construction consultant returned to his car and pulled into traffic, a witness reportedly wrote down his license number.

Randall drove to his own bank, Union Bank in the 2000 block of Michelson Drive, deposited $500 in his account and got a cashier's check for another $500, police said.

Police were waiting at his home near Quail Creek and Jeffrey Road when he arrived.

Irvine Police Sgt. Mike Hamel said Randall might be responsible for two similar bank robberies in Newport Beach. In his car, they found a money wrapper with the initials FENB. Police said the wrapper probably belonged to the Far East National Bank in Newport Beach, which was robbed last month. Police said he also had been convicted of bank robbery in 1967.

"He doesn't exactly fit the profile of your usual bank robber," Hamel said. "In fact, he doesn't fit any of the profiles. We rarely see anybody this old, and we rarely see someone who parks in front of the bank. In fact, we rarely see anybody who uses their own car. That's unusual."

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