Real Name: Fred "Harvey" McCloud
Case: Kidnapping, Armed Robbery
Date: January 8, 1996
Location: Modesto, California
Details: Harvey McCloud was a sixty-five-year-old cab driver in Modesto, California; he had been driving a cab for over ten years. On January 8, 1996, during a seemingly normal fare, he picked up a man in a turban and a fake beard and mustache. He spoke in a coarse whisper and only had enough money to get half way to where he wanted to go, but he claimed he could pick up the money at his brother's house which was along the route. Harvey followed the man's directions, and was surprised when he told him to stop. He turned around and the man was pointing a gun at him. The man then chained on a black metal box and keypad and had a wire that went around Harvey's neck and clipped it shut. He then activated the device, telling Harvey that he could detonate the device through his cell phone.
Harvey then went back into Modesto and the man told Harvey he was going to have him rob a bank. He had Harvey stop across the street from the First Glendale Bank and gave him the final instructions. Harvey entered the bank and was instructed to hand the bank manager a note and take the money but leave a second bomb that was in a box. The bank manager complied with the gunman's demands and gave Harvey the exact amount of money demanded in the letter.
Everything had gone according to plan, except for one act of heroism that Harvey performed. Instead of leaving the bomb in the bank and to prevent possible injury of anyone else in the bank, he took it with him to his cab. In the back of the cab, he found a set of type-written instructions. He followed the instructions, driving fifteen minutes away to a hardware store. In the parking lot, he parked the cab, leaving behind the keys and the money. He then walked half a mile to a pay phone, where he waited for further instructions that would help him dismantle the bomb.
When no call came, he called his dispatcher. The police soon arrived and the area was evacuated. Bomb experts removed the explosive, which was revealed to be fake. The robbery had worked perfectly, but the gunman had not gone away without being seen. When he was dropped off at the bank, two eyewitnesses saw the man enter a van where he took off a turban, fake beard, and mustache as well as a sweater padded to make him look 25 to 35 pounds heavier. The man was never found and the case remains unsolved.
Suspects: Witnesses describe Harvey's passenger as a six-foot tall man around 160 pounds and with short-cropped salt-and-pepper hair. He would today be in his 60s or 70s, and he drove a dark brown or bronze ford van with a large "picture window" on the driver side.
Extra Notes: This segment first ran on Unsolved Mysteries in the May 10, 1996 episode.
Results: Unsolved. The statute of limitations eventually expired on the robbery, but not the kidnapping. The kidnapper remains at large. Sadly, Harvey passed away in 2006.