A parolee at large (PAL), who absconded in 1980 and during his 32 years on the loose came to own a high-end drug treatment center, was arrested Sunday in Pasadena by the California Parole Apprehension Team (CPAT) in Region III.

Richard Bradford was paroled on Dec. 8, 1978, after been sentenced to life on July 20, 1971, for first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of a store clerk during an attempted robbery in San Jose on Nov. 2, 1970.

He fled from parole on Sept. 15, 1980.

In early 2011, the Region III CPAT learned that Bradford might be using the name James Edward Heard.

James Edward Heard was created in 1977 with a false birth certificate in Alameda County, and a Social Security card was issued in 1978 – all while Bradford was in prison.  Bradford began using the name, off and on, beginning in the mid-1980s and by 1992 Richard Bradford ceased to exist on paper.

The investigation revealed that Heard owned several properties in the Pasadena area, including a high-end drug treatment center, Eaton Canyon Treatment Center.  A comparison by the Whittier Police Department of Bradford’s prison fingerprint card and Heard’s Department of Motor Vehicles fingerprints confirmed that James Edward Heard was, in fact, Richard Bradford, parolee at large.

In February 2011, Bradford – now aware that CPAT was actively looking for him – had his attorney contact the Region III CPAT to negotiate his surrender. The attorney requested that Bradford be given some time to surrender, but he never turned himself in and Region III CPAT continued efforts to find him.

At various times, information was received that Bradford was in the Pasadena area but keeping a low profile to avoid apprehension. He transferred control of all his businesses – all financial aspects of James Edward Heard – to a trust. All credit cards were in the name of the treatment center, as well as all vehicles.

Finally, on Sunday, March 10, while conducting surveillance, CPAT agents saw Bradford and his wife leave one of “Heard’s” properties.

The agents followed them to a Home Depot store in Monrovia, where they moved in and took both into custody without incident as they were getting out of their vehicle. Bradford’s wife was arrested on suspicion of being a felon in possession of pepper spray and was booked into the Monrovia City Jail.