Alleged credit union robber tracked down in California

Nearly six months to the day after an alleged robbery spree in Aberdeen and Hoquiam, former Hoquiamite Jay Gladden has been caught.

Hoquiam and Aberdeen police were notified early Tuesday morning that the suspected armed robber on the lam since September of last year had been arrested in California.

Gladden, 30, was picked up in Fontana, Calif., on charges of assault with a deadly weapon, drugs, possession of stolen property and resisting arrest, said Hoquiam Detective Sgt. Shane Krohn.

Gladden is accused of robbing the Huckle Bearies espresso stand in Aberdeen and attempting to rob the Grizz Coffee Stand in Hoquiam on Sept. 15, 2012. He allegedly displayed a weapon in both of those crimes. Two days later, he allegedly robbed the Hoquiam Twin Star Credit Union.

Police said Gladden presented a note to a teller at the credit union demanding money, but did not show a weapon. He received an undisclosed amount and allegedly fled on foot toward an alley near the bank, trailing bills as he ran.

Police quickly identified an apartment Gladden shared with his then-girlfriend Melissa M. Moore, just a few houses down from the credit union, and deployed a SWAT team. Believing Gladden was inside, police demanded over a loudspeaker that he turn himself in and entered the apartment, but neither Gladden nor Moore were there.

Moore was later arrested in Glendale, Ariz., and extradited back to Grays Harbor, where she pled guilty to a separate attempted robbery of the Aberdeen Radio Shack store — on the same day as the espresso stand robberies — and was sentenced to seven months in jail in January.

Aberdeen and Hoquiam officers have been working together from nearly the start of the investigation, said Aberdeen Capt. John Green, and have been coordinating with other agencies and the U.S. Marshal’s Service to be prepared for whenever Gladden can be returned to Washington.

Krohn said that there is no timetable yet for the Gladden’s extradition from Fontana, a city of about 200,000 east of Los Angeles in San Bernardino County.

“It’s going to depend on what they do with him down there and how many other crimes they can link him to,” he said.

In addition to the three robberies, authorities are looking into other similar crimes on the Harbor to see if Gladden could be a suspect. Police in Fontana and other California law enforcement agencies are doing the same, Green and Krohn said.

“Either way, he’s coming back to the State of Washington eventually,” Green said.