Suspect in attempted Littleton mall bombing is on the run

25 Apr

Earl Albert Moore was plagued by money problems when he fumbled two crimes and landed in federal prison for more than six years, according to court records, interviews and news accounts.

Moore, 65, is suspected of planting a crude explosive device inside a Jefferson County mall last week, and is now the subject of a nationwide manhunt.

The incident at Southwest Plaza occurred one week after Moore was released from federal prison in Georgia, and about four miles from the Denver apartment where he lived for several years before his 2005 arrest for bank robbery.

Authorities have searched all of Moore’s former addresses in Colorado and have spoken with distant relatives, but they have no confirmed sightings since Moore was seen at the mall last Wednesday, FBI Spokesman Dave Joly said today.

Denver County court records show the owners of The Pines apartments near Quincy Avenue and South Sheridan Boulevard filed in court to evict Moore and a female relative in October 2004 for failure to pay rent. Moore had lived in the apartment for about four years, according to public record searches.

Two banks also had filed civil actions against Moore, saying he owed them more than $10,000.

In March 2004, Moore was arrested for theft and possession of burglary tools after a Costco security guard saw him slitting open boxes and shoving merchandise in his coat.

According to police reports, when an officer arrived at the store on South Havana Street he found 24 computer storage discs worth $1,560 inside the lining of Moore’s coat.

Moore, who also was carrying a small knife, told the officer “I did it. I got caught,” according to the report.

That summer Moore agreed to a plea deal in which he would receive two years probation. But he failed to show up for his September 2004 sentencing.

A warrant was still out for his arrest when he walked into a bank in Crab Orchard, West Virginia, in March 2005 waved a gun, and fled with $2,546, according to court records.

Police arrested him about 10 minutes later, after Moore walked into a nearby convenience store and a clerk noticed red dye on his hands from the dye packs the bank had included with the money, according to a story from The Register-Herald in Beckley, West Virginia.

Moore had used makeup to paint on a fake beard, and crashed his getaway car into a snowbank about a half mile away from the bank. Police found the money in the trunk of his car.

A bank employee said this morning that Moore told officers at the time that he needed to rob the bank because his wife was dying from cancer, but it was unclear whether that story ever was confirmed.

Moore was sentenced to 18 years in federal prison, but his sentence was reduced to seven years after he assisted prosecutors with information on another case, according to court records. He spent most of that time at a medium-security prision in South Carolina.

He had a previous conviction for larceny in El Paso County in 1998. That case also involved a rental property, court records show.

In 2010, the Colorado Department of Revenue also filed a civil case against Moore, saying he owed the state $2,819.

They believe he returned to the area around 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, placed two propane tanks and a makeshift pipebomb in a hallway used mostly by mall employees, and then started a fire.

A mall employee noticed the fire and a security guard was able to extinguish it before firefighters arrived. No one was hurt.

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