The Norco Bank Robbery happened over 40 years ago, but its legend continues influence how police officers are trained today. Thanks to one very popular VHS tape. This program is made possible in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.

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Norco 80 Podcast Reviews

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Great StoryAnd great story telling. No one has done this one right on screen, but this podcast tells the tale of the Norco robbery gone wrong spectacularly!.Score: 5/5

LoveLove the show! And loved the book. It is frustrating to hear a bunch of academics and podcasters talk like they know what it is like to be under fire however. Put on a vest, get in the car- and go protect the public, while out gunned. Then come and talk..Score: 5/5

Incredible sincerityI have never reviewed a podcast, but 38:45 episode 4 is the most touching moment in a podcast I have ever heard..Score: 5/5

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Do not recommendIrrational “progressive” opinions presented as facts. Narrators voice is not for radio..Score: 1/5

AmbitiousThey bite off a lot here. The story is interesting and it’s fascinating to hear from the firsthand participants. However, they bite off a lot in terms of the macro issues and it ends up being superficial. I think the presenter also let her biases run a little too much, including the indulgent jail interview of a criminal convicted of horrible crimes..Score: 3/5

AwfulThe worst narrator ever. I’d like to thank the cop for his years of service. A brave and real man.Score: 1/5

Spellbinding podcastSpellbinding storytelling about a horrific day in criminal history. I’ve enjoyed every episode. I wish the host spent some more time exploring the social/economic/political context these events took place in. There is a lot to dig into there, whether it be the changes in the Inland Empire economy and demographics in the 1980s, to the origins of policing she alludes to. Maybe as epilogues to the podcast!.Score: 4/5

AddictingExcellent podcast with the pace and intrigue of a true crime series but made relevant to today’s fractured America. I’ll miss the weekly installments..Score: 5/5

Amazing podcastThis podcast is beautifully done. Antonia synthesizes local history and systemic forces at play that contextualize this story in a way most “true crime” podcasts do not. Really amazing feat!.Score: 5/5

One sided biased journalismShe had her mind made before she started “investigating”..Score: 1/5

No titleGood series. I hope you do more. In a society that refuses to apply any realistic curb on civilian ownership of weapons then of course the police will be heavily armed. The police need to be better educated and have psychological exams at least yearly, and also if the racists and Nazis get weeded out that would help also. Also, protect and serve..Score: 5/5

Generation X idiotYou had me totally engulfed in this podcast until episode 8 when you said that most dooms day prepper’s are middle aged white guys. Being a middle aged white guy I was not offended because downgrading white people seems to be the norm today. What I did find shocking was that you said that doomsday prepper’s are hoping to live out a fantasy where the economy collapses and they are all of a sudden moved to the top of the food chain because they have stockpiled weapons, ammunition, food and water. You then went on to say that “Building and Hunting is not a skill set needed in the industrialized nation that we live in today.” I just witnessed a record breaking snowfall not only in Tennessee but all surrounding southern states and as far as Galveston TX. And within three days people had Mass/Panicked bought everything off the store shelf and depleted their resources and that includes gasoline. With that said, I love the fact that I have a survival skill set for just those types of circumstances. I actually feel sorry for the narrator of this podcast because if you could take her credit/debit card away she would be totally lost..Score: 2/5

Interesting historical eventNot a great host. Once she introduces the real political agenda then it just gets preachy without really bringing anything new to the important conversation about race, gun control, and policing..Score: 2/5

Norco 80Terrible narrator! Great story!.Score: 2/5

Both non fiction and fictionIt would be better if the whole podcast were based on factual statistics..Score: 1/5

PreachyYou lost me when you started questioning a guy that was getting shot at and seeing fellow officers being shot why he wanted to kill them. So old, were you shot at? Maybe your prospective would be different. Don’t like the preachy aspect. Done!.Score: 1/5

True crime? Don’t be fooledHow does a good true crime podcast turn into a political commentary on racism and global warming? No thanks..Score: 1/5

CopagandaDetails are lose and sloppy, and its authority worship..Score: 1/5

Pushing journalists political agenda 🙄I loved this podcast at first. Super interesting. Until it became pushing anti gun/ assault rifle/ dearming the police agenda. When she told the cop it wasnt his right to choose the criminals punishment while being shot at. Are you serious? I’d love for her to be able to switch places with him. You go ahead and be shot at by multiple shooters and try to apprehend them. When someone is trying to kill you, killing them is your only option for survival. Sometimes I just want to relax and listen to podcasts without having politics jammed down my throat. We get it everywhere on our social media feeds, on the news, etc. My true crime podcasts are where I usually get to take a break for that. But not this one..Score: 3/5

Good story, terrible opinionsThe first episodes were great recapping the story but if we have to listen to more objectionably awful opinions on police shootouts then I’m out.Score: 3/5

Overall good podcastThis podcast is generally very well researched, edited, and presented. My only criticism would be the liberal positioning of the presenter at times questioning the militarization/role of the police, especially the cringe-worthy exchange about whether the officer being shot at had the ‘right’ to decide his assailant’s fate in the heat of battle and another comment about police being equipped with bayonets (?!) under the Federal assistance programs. I don’t know how old this presenter is but would guess she may be young and a bit naive yet in the ways of the world..Score: 4/5

Loved every episodeCan wait for more similar podcasts from the same team.Score: 5/5

Check your factsThe first 7 episodes were great! This last episode however had some overt liberal overtones and sighted opinions as facts when it comes to shootings and violence from police against minorities. I really wanted to give this series a 5 star until this last episode....Score: 1/5

I am hookedI am hooked to this podcast. Every week I wait patiently for the new episode then get sad when it’s over. You guys do an amazing job!.Score: 5/5

Started out interesting...As usual a decent podcast goes down the spiral of being twisted up into a platform for an argument against firearms, the police, and the death penalty. Another case of a story getting twisted to fit a certain narrative. Disappointing..Score: 1/5

Excellent seriesWell researched, gripping presentation. I was unfamiliar with the event, though I was about twenty at the time. It is a fascinating window on the era, but also deeply relevant to issues we face now..Score: 5/5

LiberalSorry cops being murdered and shot and their reaction is to kill those people that murdering them makes you “sad”. Who are you to judge any police officer?!?! You judge behind a podcast. Nobody cares what makes you sad. Next time you have billets flying at you make sure to give the person shooting at you a hug you hippy!.Score: 1/5

Waste of timeDon’t waste your time. Starts out as a story about bank robbery and spins off into non sense..Score: 1/5

SpellboundCan’t wait to hear the next episodes. Nice work!.Score: 5/5

This situation changed “Policing”, really?I just wanted to know more about the claim that this Specific Bank Robbery changed the way Police Officers “Police” and the weapons they are equipped with to do their jobs, It started strong, but it does drop off at a fairly rapid pace. There are several reasons for this, the narrater is absolutely pushing her personal bias regarding politics. Liberal, progressive, anti-gun, anti-law enforcement, etc. “Do Not Believe” any review that claims there is “Not” a socialist agenda and strong conformation bias driving this project is speaking disingenuously. It is delivered in the “Serial Style” Podcast format, so it keeps you engaged and listening. But by the 4th episode you are exhausted by amount of information that has been repeated. Also... It missed a unique opportunity to understand the process of the officer experiencing full blown PTSD from almost dying, to being left to die by his fellow officers. That is the real life information we could ALL benefit from, how did it affect his relationships and marriage. It repeats information to exhaustion. It pushes a liberal agenda disingenuously. It misses the real story. It is entitled and lacks legitimacy. It fails to prove the initial claims. It feels like a well written report. Ok one last thing: Does girl narrating the podcast have a voice that works with Podcasting? My opinion: The voice is clear, and consistent in its tempo and understood easily. It doesn’t hurt your ears but the way she is reporting the information with such lack of perspective and life experience makes you dislike the tone of her voice. It’s very strange, I imagine she is quite pleasant to speak to directly. the Like: read a children’s book, cool! But: Podcasting maybe, not! Final: It’s professionally produced, and has a unique perspective, but gets lost in the relentless political bias being forced on its listeners. I still listened to every episode, and have nothing but live for everyone involved. It takes allot of cooperation, talent and hard work to produce this level of podcast. To that I say “Bravo” really well done. Advice: do your research without your personal bias and beliefs, treat every conversation as an opportunity to learn from the other person. Tell us the facts, the important information without including any political commentary or liberal agenda. Let the information speak for itself, remove your personal opinion completely, do that and you will have a winner..Score: 2/5

Something DifferentIt’s a shame to hear about to needless death of the LEO over a bank robbery where the criminals never even took the cash out of the parking lot. I feel like after the getaway driver had been shot, the van hostage & cash had been found, there was really no need for the police to go chasing after a bunch of religious cultists who had bigger & more dangerous weapons. If they’d let them go & worried about catching them later, maybe the cop who was shot in the right eye would have lived to see his son grow up. Maybe the innocent bystanders wouldn’t have gotten caught in crossfire. Maybe a helicopter wouldn’t have been shot in the sky. But like DJ said in his interview, the cops allowed their rage to take over & bc of that, people died that didn’t need to. He was too concerned with revenge, which is NOT the responsibility of law enforcement, that too many others suffered. I find it interesting the police wanted to blame it on “not having big enough guns” when the reality is, i can’t imagine just how much MORE deadly this event would have been if they did! There’s always going to be a bigger weapon. The priority should be to protect money over people, not visa versa. while the criminals were obviously in the wrong, it was the police who killed first. Not the robbers. The interviews definitely confirmed how i already feel about law enforcement: they too often use unnecessary force & are not to be trusted..Score: 5/5

AlmostAll good until the last episode. Wrapping a story up seems to be an issue in many podcasts, but I’m not sure they try to conclude the story here. In fact, the conclusion has little to do with the story. It uses a request by one of the officers to skip forward 40 years. It then employs the request creating a straw man to arrive at a conclusion of contemporary significance. I’m not sure the conclusion compliments the story at all, except that it’s so off base you will think back to the story to see how they may have ended up here. The story is interesting. It deserves better. I want a story not ideology—whether right or wrong. The production assumes that I am unable or unwilling to make contemporary applications so it does it for me. It’s an increasingly common mistake. There are more subtle ways to make your point that will serve you, and your agenda better. This team is talented, they’ll figure it out. Cheers..Score: 2/5

Fact check? Grasp of subject matter?Slickly produced and for the most informative. However the factual errors are very distracting along with the general sense that the producers have not really understood their subject. Other reviews have flagged various errors and tone-deaf comments, here’s the one that made me almost quit the series at episode 5. From the transcript: The producers state: “SEMI AUTOMATIC WEAPONS ON THE OTHER HAND DON’T HAVE TO BE RELOADED AFTER EVERY ROUND, MAKING IT POSSIBLE TO FIRE MORE ROUNDS, MORE QUICKLY.” This is not what makes automatic weapons different from other firearms. The only weapons that have to be reloaded after every round are muskets. Any shotgun or rifle or even a revolver can hold multiple rounds. Given that the entire series addresses the issue of militarization of police, it would help if they understood what an assault rifle actually is. Please, do your research, get a fact checker, or else stick to more fashionable topics closer to home..Score: 2/5

Great jobNice pace, solid production.Score: 5/5

Good storyIt’s pretty good... don’t really appreciate how people lump racism into every white persons issue... kind sounds racist on the other end I think...interesting story though and in my part of the world at that time.Score: 4/5

Was going so well.....This podcast was going great....up until somehow it gets all tied back into current liberal rhetoric about defunding police, racism, radical right wing mobs, and anti second amendment. I’m surprised it didn’t end up in gender discussions or environment issues. No wonder Apple podcast ranks this one in its top 10 with all the other NY times garbage..Score: 1/5

Woke racism.I am sick of this whole culture of demonizing white people. I just finished episode 8 and I am done..Score: 1/5

CompellingI stumbled upon this podcast after a friend recommended. I guess with the plethora of podcasts available it can be overwhelming trying to find one that will keep your internet. This is the one! Man! The story is incredible and so well told. I inadvertently binged the first 5 episodes because it is just so engaging. I guess this would be considered a true crime genre, which I didn’t know i was into until I started listening to this unbelievable story of the Norco bank robbery. Five stars highly recommended ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.Score: 5/5

LiberalWas interested until host questioned officer’s ethics because he wanted to shoot someone who was actively attempting to kill him....Score: 1/5

Interesting but includes some unnecessary commentaryGood storytelling about an incident I knew nothing about. The interviews with law enforcement officers that were involved and some of the people who knew the criminals were interesting. That said, you can tell the events are looked at through the political lens of today, which I found to be distracting and unnecessary..Score: 3/5

Please - Don’t bother.It’s simply terrible. Buy the book by the same name off audible and actually learn and enjoy the topic. The host is a know-it-all liberal dbag. The commercials ruin all the flow. It barley goes into the topic. Shut it off at episode 4 - couldn’t take it anymore. Hard pass..Score: 1/5

Liberal ideaologyCouldn’t take all the political rhetoric, the narrator was too one sided about the police, just tell the story next time, the listeners can make their opinions..Score: 2/5

Thoughtful take on a historical eventThis team does a fascinating and thoughtful job on over-policing in America. Let’s not forget the history that’s shaped our present..Score: 5/5

Great StorytellingThis is a great podcast, easy to follow along. Highly recommend giving it a listen. Antonia Cereijido has done an amazing job!.Score: 5/5

Wrong genre- politicalInteresting story but the political agenda is clear and distracted me. I would have loved it without the left leaning agenda. Still an interesting story..Score: 3/5

MehStarted off interesting. Lost interest once the narrator questioned the officer for wanting to kill someone that was trying to kill him..Score: 2/5

Well producedInteresting story, and good interviews. I’m glad the reporter thinks Police shouldn’t be trying to kill violent offenders, but it’s really easy to say such things when you not the one getting shot at, and not to mention a witness to your partner getting his head blown off..Score: 5/5

Very compelling storyI am enjoying this podcast. The host’s interjections can be distracting. I also thought her response “that makes me sad” to the honest reflection of an officer lacked thoughtfulness..Score: 4/5

AddictiveFirst five minutes had me. Great job!!!.Score: 5/5

Well doneI love the pace of this. Great job Ms. Cerejido!.Score: 5/5

Well told - reportedI feel thoroughly engaged while listening. A picture is painted with interviews that cover many factors that contributed to what happened those many years ago, and are still impacting us today..Score: 5/5

Doesn’t anyone ever fact-check podcasts?!?I listened to about 7 minutes of the first episode and then heard the narrator say that George was “making a million dollars a week” in the 1980s with a freeze-dried food business. A million dollars a week. In the 1980s. On freeze-dried food. I wonder how many obvious errors I would have heard if I’d listened for another three minutes. Come on. Show a little respect for your listeners. Fact-check your scripts!.Score: 1/5

LAist Studios has my ears & my heartI have every streaming service that you can mention yet my TV is collecting dust at the moment. Wish you guys had more commercials because that would mean more great podcast from you guys..Score: 5/5

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Norco 80 Podcast Episodes

Chapter 8: Danger Signs

The Norco Bank Robbery happened over 40 years ago, but its legend continues influence how police officers are trained today. Thanks to one very popular VHS tape. This program is made possible in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.

Chapter 7: George Smith

George Smith speaks to us in his first-ever recorded interview, from a correctional facility in Corcoran, California. This program is made possible in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.

Chapter 6: The Trial

The “Norco 3” face the death penalty in one of the highest profile trials in Riverside County history. This program is made possible in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.

Chapter 5: Big Guns

After the chase finally ends, a shell-shocked police force demands bigger, more powerful weapons. This program is made possible in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.

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. This program is made possible in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.

Chapter 3: The Robbers

George Smith didn't set out to rob a bank. He just wanted to survive the apocalypse. This program is made possible in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.

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.  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. This program is made possible in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.

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 robbed the Security Pacific Bank downtown. Norco ‘80 is produced by LAist Studios in collaboration with Futuro Studios. This program is made possible in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.

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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