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Norco 80

Norco 80

In May of 1980, the sleepy streets of Norco, California were turned into an all-out war zone in what is one of the most violent bank robberies in American history. From LAist Studios in collaboration with Futuro Studios comes the new podcast—Norco ’80 based on the book by Peter Houlahan. Listen as host and producer Antonia Cereijido tells the unbelievable true story about God, guns, survivalism and the bank robbery that changed policing in America forever. Using eyewitness testimony and never before heard police tapes, Norco ’80 takes listeners on a wild ride, and serves as a cautionary tale in the context of America being immersed in the middle of an economic crisis, revamped end of the world paranoia and a complex conversation about policing.


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Chapter 4: The Final Chase

The robbers lead police on a winding chase that ends in a devastating standoff at the top of a mountain.
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Chapter 3: The Robbers

George Smith didn't set out to rob a bank. He just wanted to survive the apocalypse.
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Chapter 2: The Firefight

The bank robbers make it out of the Security Pacific Bank, cash in hand??but they?re immediately met by the police and a firefight begins.  We meet one of the first officers on the scene, who explains the culture of the Norco police force in the 1970s and reveals just how unprepared they were for an armed robbery of this magnitude. Norco ?80 is produced by LAist Studios in collaboration with Futuro Studios. *Editor?s note: For clarification, Deputy Sheriff Andrew Delgado-Monti carried both a revolver and a shotgun during the firefight outside the Security Pacific Bank, which was standard for the Riverside Sheriff?s Office at the time.
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Chapter 1: The Robbery

May 9th, 1980 began as a regular Friday in sleepy Norco, a small town about 48 miles east of Los Angeles, known mostly for its horse trails and old western look. But around 3:30pm, five masked men with assault rifles would attempt to rob the Security Pacific Bank downtown. Host Antonia Cereijido introduces us to a region that was rapidly becoming the ?Bank Robbery Capital of the World'' in the 1980s. The robbers themselves describe the beginning hours of the ill-fated robbery, that forty years later is still used to justify the evolution of armed policing and crime response in America. Norco ?80 is produced by LAist Studios in collaboration with Futuro Studios.
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Trailer: Norco 80

In 1980, a devastating bank robbery shocked Southern California. It was carried out by masked men determined to outlive the apocalypse. But the robbery would quickly spin out of control, providing a cautionary tale of an America in the midst of an economic recession and serve as a complex conversation about the role of police forces in our communities. This is the story of Norco ?80, a new podcast from LAist Studios.
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