Robber: Foiled by Snapple bottle
Robber: Foiled by Snapple bottle

Meet Stupid Bank Robber Who Has Never Heard of DNA

Richard Norman Lederman, an associate in the Watergate Crips gang in Los Angeles, thought about robbing a financial institution and chose one in Orange County.

Lederman pondered how to avoid capture and decided to don a woman's wig and wear black-knit gloves when, during lunch hours of March 9, 2006, he and an accomplice entered the Orange County Credit Union on Marguerite Parkway in Mission Viejo.

The hoodlum hadn't quite pondered enough, however.

He either forgot about or has never heard of DNA and its usefulness to law enforcement.

In route from Hawthorne in a Jeep Cherokee stolen from a Los Angeles International Airport rent-a-car company, Lederman enjoyed a Snapple, left the bottle in the vehicle and then abandoned the car in the credit union parking lot for swiftly arriving Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD) deputies.

He also accidentally dropped one of his gloves while fleeing.

It took no time for the OCSD crime lab to obtain DNA from the items and unquestionably tie them to Lederman, who grew up in and out of foster care or juvenile camps.

It also didn't help that he'd used the getaway car, a maroon Cadillac, in a prior crime.

Further underscoring his brilliance, Lederman represented himself against Assistant United States Attorney Fred W. Slaughter and planned to go to trial but eventually signed a plea bargain in hopes of reducing his punishment.

At a July 29 sentencing hearing inside Orange County's Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse, U.S. District Court Judge Cormac J. Carney sentenced the robber to a term of 84 months in prison. He owes the credit union $3,662 in restitution and must undergo federal supervised probation for five years upon his return to freedom.

Lederman, 29, remains locked today under the care of U.S. marshals inside the Santa Ana Jail and is awaiting a bus trip to federal prison.

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Email: Twitter: @RScottMoxley.


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