A Hoquiam 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 was sentenced to seven months in jail Monday. Her now ex-boyfriend is still on the loose.
Melissa M. Moore, 30, pleaded guilty to second-degree attempted robbery, and apologized in court.
“I really regret the decisions I made , and I just want to put it behind me,” Moore said.
“I’m not going to say this was the most sophisticated robbery, but it was a robbery,” Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Gerald Fuller said.
Moore 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.
“Ms. Moore was not in a good position in her life when this occurred, however, she has taken full responsibility,” said Moore’s attorney, Amanda Kleespie. “She has realized that was not a healthy relationship, and it’s not what she wants for herself or for her child.”
Moore’s boyfriend was 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 a small fence.
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.
A neighbor said the couple may have been motivated by financial issues.
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 had requested 30 days of her sentence be converted to community service, but Judge Mark McCauley gave her the full sentence as jail time.
“I think she needs to serve her time and move on,” McCauley said. He agreed to give her credit for time she spent in the Arizona jail regarding the Grays Harbor charge.
Gladden is still at large and considered armed and dangerous.