Kateri Fogleman grew up in a law-enforcement family.
Her father, a retired Los Angeles Police Department detective who had served in Vietnam and worked as a high school football coach, had always exemplified a life of service in her eyes.
That changed last week when she recognized her father, Randy Adair, in surveillance footage showing a man carrying out robberies at Orange County, Calif., banks over the past four months.
“I went into freaking out and shock,” Fogleman told the Orange County Register. “I fell to my knees. I was absolutely stunned. Paralyzed.”
In a heart-wrenching decision, Fogleman, flanked by several other family members, traveled to a sheriff’s department substation to report their relative, according to the Orange County Register. Before she could make it past the front door, she fainted.
“It was the right thing,” Fogleman told the paper. “I knew we had to do it.”
Snowbird Bandit linked to 4th bank robbery today in Ladera Ranch. Recognize him? Call 3104776565 with tips. pic.twitter.com/yDnHkRdUOQ
— FBI LosAngeles (@FBILosAngeles) July 7, 2015
Adair was taken into custody on Wednesday in a parking lot in Rancho Santa Margarita, according to the Los Angeles Times. Authorities found $1,120 in race track betting receipts inside his vehicle, the Times reported.
He had a habit of wearing a fedora, glasses and “touristy shirts” that looked as if they were plucked from a grandfather’s closet, police said.
And although he may have looked like a vacationing retiree, with a soft paunch, white hair and a mustache, the man who came to be known as the “Snowbird Bandit” during five Orange County bank robberies also had a habit of flashing a gun at tellers and demanding large bills before disappearing on foot, police said.
If Adair’s 21 years with the Los Angeles Police Department are any indication, the alleged bank robber was quite comfortable handling a weapon.
This week, federal prosecutors charged Adair with one count of bank robbery. Confronted by surveillance photographs from one of the robberies, Adair allegedly told police: “I’m cooked. I think I should have a lawyer.”
— OC Sheriff, CA (@OCSD) July 23, 2015
“The typical bank robber, after you take him into custody and you interview them, they will indicate that a lot of the times the bank robberies are the result of some sort of addiction, whether it’s a drug addition or a gambling addiction or something like that,” Lt. Jeff Hallock of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department told CW affiliate KTLA.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Adair’s monthly pension was $2,868.80 as of July 1.
Jim Wilke, a retired LAPD detective from Anaheim, knows Adair and said he is shocked by the arrest.
“Anyone who worked for the department, is getting his pension and is committing bank robberies, I’m blown away,” he told the Orange County Register.
Adair’s daughter says she suspects that her father’s declining health led him to commit the crimes.
In 2010, Adair suffered an aneurysm that led to “a nine-hour heart surgery,” according to the Register.
Three years later, Fogleman told the paper, her father survived six heart attacks, which was followed by kidney failure, requiring him to be on dialysis four times a week. By the time he started robbing banks, she said, he was “not in his right mind.”
“Doctors said he suffered severe brain damage,” Fogleman told the paper. “They called him a dead man walking.”
“It’s insane,” she added. “How does a walking dead man rob a bank? He’s ill. There’s no other explanation.”
During his years with the LAPD — from his graduation at the top of his class in 1967 until he retirement in 1988 — Adair had at least one brush with history, according to the Orange County Register:
He was a rookie cop in the hard-hitting Rampart Division on June 4, 1968, when a call came in that shots were fired at the Ambassador Hotel a few blocks away. Adair was among a handful of officers involved in the arrest of Sirhan Sirhan for the assassination of presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy.
“You could see some bruises where they had wrestled him down,” Adair said of Sirhan 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.”
Moments later, Adair escorted RFK’s wife, Ethel Kennedy, and astronaut John Glenn to the hospital where her husband was taken.
Adair would go on to become a founding member of the LAPD Centurions football team, which has raised more than $500,000 for the Blind Children’s Center of Los Angeles, according to the Register.
After retiring, the paper reported, he worked several years as a line judge for high school football games, making $43 a game.
“Obviously, you don’t do it for the money,” he said in a 2001 interview with the Register. “It doesn’t offset gas and time. Most guys just do it because they love it.”
Beyond his coaching history, Fogleman told the Register, there’s another way she would like people to remember her father. Around 1970, she said, he was the first officer to arrive at a low-income home on fire. Fogleman said he was the only person to enter the home, which he did seven times, saving seven people by the time he was finished.
“His life was all about law enforcement and family,” Fogleman said.