September 27 in Seal Beach History

On this date in 1927, former Seal Beach City Marshal Thomas Randall robbed the Pasadena Savings Bank. Randall entered the bank just before closing and backed several bank clerks and six bank patrons up against the wall at gunpoint and grabbed $1799 (over $25 grand in today’s dollars). He then escaped in an automobile he had left running in front of the bank entrance. Some of the clerks gave chase, but Randall lost them in traffic.

Unluckily for Randall, the clerks were able to give police an accurate enough description of Randall and his getaway car, and 29 year-old former Long Beach and Seal Beach officer  was arrested four hours later by the Los Angeles Police.

In court before Justice J. R. Morton two days later, Randall admitted to the bank robbery and claimed that his gun was unloaded. His reason for the crime was that he had been unable to find work since leaving the Long Beach Police Department and was desperate for money to provide for his family.

All $1799 from the robbery was recovered.

– Michael Dobkins


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