A woman accused of trying to rob the Aberdeen Radio Shack store and who is linked to her boyfriend’s dramatic robberies of a credit union and espresso stand appeared in Grays Harbor Superior Court Monday. Her boyfriend is still on the loose.
Melissa M. Moore, 30, pleaded not guilty to a charge of second-degree attempted robbery. Prosecutors say the Hoquiam woman entered the store the morning of Sept. 15 asking an employee for a cell phone battery. According to court documents, the employee said when she asked what size, Moore replied, “Give me all the money in your till.”
The employee said she wasn’t sure she had heard Moore correctly, but Moore repeated, “Give me the money in your till, please, even if it’s just a few dollars or my boyfriend is going to kill me.”
Concerned Moore had a gun or that her boyfriend would come in the store, the employee pushed the alarm button. Moore then allegedly fled the store.
Police say Moore’s boyfriend is Jay Gladden, 29, the suspect in two robberies. On Sept. 15, Gladden is accused of robbing the Huckle Bearies espresso stand on Simpson Avenue in Aberdeen. On Sept. 17, Gladden allegedly robbed the Hoquiam Twin Star Credit Union.
Police said Gladden presented a note to a teller demanding money, but did not show a weapon. He received an undisclosed amount of money and fled on foot toward an alley near the bank, trailing various bills as he ran and jumped the small fence.
A K-9 search failed, possibly because Gladden had a bicycle or vehicle in the alley, Hoquiam Police Chief Myers said.
Police quickly identified the couple’s apartment, just a few houses down from the credit union, and deployed a SWAT team. Believing Gladden was inside, police demanded over a loudspeaker he turn himself in and entered the apartment, but Gladden was not there.
Neighbors said he might be motivated by financial desperation. According to Jessica Smith, 24, who lives across the street, Gladden and Moore lived there with their two daughters, who are of infant and primary school age. The couple just moved into the apartment, but had to have a yard sale to get money for rent and other basics. Smith said she talked to Moore about their problems.
“She said they spent everything they had just to get into the place and now were selling everything to get next month’s rent,” Smith said.
On Sept. 25, Aberdeen police stopped a woman driving a vehicle that had been associated with Moore and Gladden. According to court documents, the driver told police she had driven Moore to Radio Shack Sept. 15.
Moore was initially arrested for shoplifting in Arizona, but was released. Police later received notification of Moore’s Grays Harbor warrant, and she was arrested at a home in Glendale, Ariz.
Moore is being held in Grays Harbor County Jail with $25,000 bail. Gladden is still at large and considered armed and dangerous.