Unsolved Mysteries Wiki

Alan Golder

Real Name: Alan William Golder
Aliases: Dinnertime Bandit
Wanted For: Burglary, Theft, Larceny, Robbery, Kidnapping
Missing Since: November 1997


Details: Forty-two-year-old Alan Golder is considered one of the best and most persistent cat burglars in the United States. He is best known for his early evening invasions, usually during the victim's dinner times, which gives him the nickname "The Dinnertime Bandit". Golder's life of crime began when he was six; he grew up poor in Long Island. His father, a career criminal, had abandoned the family when he was three. At sixteen, he dropped out of high school and by the age of twenty-one, he began burglarizing full-time. He struck the homes of wealthy residents in Greenwich, Connecticut.
Golder worked briefly as a underworld informer for the police, but he eventually went back to home invasions between 1976 and 1980. When the authorities recognized his signature, he was already on the run. During those years, he stole over twenty-five million dollars worth of gems from some of America's wealthiest families. At some point, he became involved with the Genovese crime family. They wanted him to become an international jewel thief.
He was arrested in 1980 for the 1978 murder of a Long Island millionaire named Lawrence Lever, who had been shot and killed in a botched burglary by one of Golder's accomplices. He struck a deal with prosecutors: he agreed to plead guilty to the murder and would inform authorities on Genovese crime family mobsters in exchange for a minimum term of 15 years to life.
While in prison, he continued to look through magazines that featured homes of the wealthy. He was paroled in 1996, and soon went back to being a cat burglar. Authorities estimate that Golder has burglarized more than fifty homes and stolen $5 million of gems from estates in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey. In October of 1997, he was caught in a woman's bathroom. He tied her up and fled in her car. In November, Golder vanished from his apartment in Queens, New York and has not been seen since.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the May 28, 1999 episode of Unsolved Mysteries. Golder was also profiled on America’s Most Wanted during his flight from justice.

Golder after his arrest

Results: Captured. For several years, Golder was living abroad in Europe. On December 14, 2006, he was arrested in Belgium during a home burglary. He had been on the run for nine years. In November of 2007, he was returned to Connecticut where he was convicted on kidnapping, burglary, and larceny charges. He has since been sentenced to fifteen years in Connecticut's Department of Corrections.