Aberdeen police arrest suspect in armed robberies

An Aberdeen police officer arrested a man suspected of holding a shotgun during three armed robberies of businesses in Thurston and Pierce counties last week, according to the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office.

Robert McCloud, 19, was arrested Friday during a traffic stop in Aberdeen after sheriff’s investigators notified law enforcement in Grays Harbor County that the suspect might be in a specific area of Aberdeen, said Sheriff’s Lt. Chris Mealy. He was being held at the Thurston County Jail with bail set at $250,000.

Mealy said investigators were able to develop McCloud as a suspect after video surveillance from one of the robberies was publicized. According to court papers, witnesses said McCloud had telephoned friends and told them to watch the news. “McCloud also requested money to help him get out of the area several times,” court papers state.

At least two people were involved in the three robberies that occurred in less than 24 hours in Thurston and Pierce counties. Mealy said the investigation of the robberies continues, and there may be more arrests.

During the most recent robbery, of the Evergreen Valley Grocery at 9347 Yelm Highway about 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 13, one of the suspects left an unloaded shotgun outside in a ditch after two suspects entered the store and emptied the cash register. Police recovered the shotgun.

The two other robberies occurred in the early morning hours of Oct. 13. One occurred about 4 a.m. at a Chevron in the 9300 block of Martin Way. Again, two suspects entered the store, one was armed with a shotgun and both fled with money from the register.

The third robbery occurred a couple of hours earlier at a store in DuPont, Mealy has said.

“In two of the robberies the clerks stated they thought they were going to be killed,” court papers state.

Mealy has said that detectives believe all three robberies were committed by the same suspects.

After his arrest, McCloud “admitted to participating in the three robberies and stated he had the shotgun,” court papers state. “McCloud refused to identify the other males with him during the incidents.”