Police are seeking a man who allegedly robbed a credit union in Hoquiam on Monday and may be linked to at least one armed robbery in the area.
Police said that at 10:50 a.m. on Monday, Jay Randall Gladden, 29, presented a note to a bank teller at the Hoquiam Twin Star Credit Union, demanding money. He received an undisclosed amount of money and then fled the bank, according to police. The man did not show a weapon.
Hoquiam Police Chief Jeff Myers said the man loaded the money into a black bag and fled on foot westbound over the parking lot fence, into an alley. Various bills were dropped along his apparent route and recovered by police. A K-9 search failed, possibly because the man had a bicycle or vehicle in the alley, Myers said.
Police identified an apartment where they thought the suspect was hiding, on the 2500 block of Sumner Ave. just four houses down and across the street from the bank. Police had to wait several hours to process a search warrant, and by early Monday evening, the Aberdeen Police Department deployed its SWAT team to the apartment. After demanding on loud speakers that the man hand himself over and performing a tactical entry into the apartment, police found the suspect had apparently already escaped. Police processed the scene for evidence, including evidence from a minivan.
Security footage shows a white male about 5 feet, 8 inches tall with a dark beard wearing a black hat and black clothing. Police have also recovered the man’s clothing, which was discarded in a carport where he apparently changed. No one was injured during the robbery. The bank chose to remain closed the rest of the Monday. On Saturday at approximately 1:45 p.m., a man committed an armed robbery at Huckle Bearies Espresso Stand on Sumner Avenue. Police said the physical features of the robbers in the two incidents match.
Neighbors of the suspect said he might be motivated by financial desperation. According to Jessica Smith, 24, who lives across the street from the suspect’s apartment, the man lived there with his girlfriend and 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 talked to the suspect’s girlfriend 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.
Elaine Pachecho, 48, Smith’s mother-in-law, said she is concerned about what could happen next. “He’s still running around loose, we don’t know if he still has a gun with him. He’s panicking. He knows that everybody is looking for him, so that’s gonna make him afraid and it’s going to make him do stupid things,” she said. “Panicked criminals, they’re the most dangerous.”