5 episodes

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.

Norco 80 LAist

    • True Crime
    • 4.4 • 266 Ratings

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.

    Chapter 4: The Final Chase

    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.

    • 40 min
    Chapter 3: The Robbers

    Chapter 3: The Robbers

    George Smith didn't set out to rob a bank. He just wanted to survive the apocalypse.

    • 39 min
    Chapter 2: The Firefight

    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.

    • 33 min
    Chapter 1: The Robbery

    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.

    • 22 min
    Trailer: Norco 80

    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.

    • 3 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
266 Ratings

266 Ratings

WorkingIntheCloud ,

Good Story

Interesting story. Good narrator. Too many ads for such a short podcast.

Minamator ,

Compelling story

This is a fascinating story told well. I appreciate the thorough reporting and contextualization.

Let me summarize the hilarious critiques of this podcast in the one star reviews:

“Liberal agenda” aka this story includes nuanced perspectives and acknowledges the role of politics and policy in crime, and I’m too much of a pea brained idiot to be able to process that, so I’m gonna throw a tantrum in the reviews.

“Weird host” aka pronounces Spanish words properly which trigger my feelings of inadequacy regarding my own monolingualism.

Robbie-ProAudioMixer ,

Distracting host.

She over pronounced Spanish names. Really weird. I get why but she goes totally overboard.

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