Randy Moore knows he did the right thing, even though he could have used the $300 in hush money.
Moore, 46, called 911 Tuesday afternoon when he suspected his neighbor, Jesse Walters, 22, had robbed a bank. The Third National Bank branch at 400 W. Broadway Blvd., two blocks from Moore and Walters’ apartment, was robbed about 3 p.m.
Police arrested Walters about 10 minutes after the bank robbery at his apartment in the 600 block of South Moniteau Avenue. He was in Pettis County Jail pending the filing of first-degree robbery charges.
Cmdr. Larry Ward said it was Moore’s phone call that led police to a quick arrest.
Officers searched Walters’ apartment after obtaining a warrant and found “items that appeared to be used in the robbery,” Ward said. The robber gave a note to a teller that stated he had a weapon, but no weapon was shown or found. Ward said a “significant amount” of money was found in Walters’ apartment. He declined to say how much was taken from the bank.
Walters had talked with Moore about robbing a bank about three hours before the crime was committed.
“About 11:30 (a.m.) we were sitting on the porch and he asked me what the response time would be on a robbery,” Moore said.
Later, Moore saw Walters wearing a bandana wrapped around his head, covering his ears, a hat and sunglasses. Walters ran into Moore’s apartment about 15 minutes later and threw $300 at him. Moore said Walters told him: “You ain’t seen me all day. You don’t know what I’m wearing.”
“I was so nervous,” Moore said. “I didn’t know if he had a gun or not. ... I keep my door open so he knew he wasn’t going to get up and down those steps without getting by me. It was hush money.”
Moore called his brother who advised him to call 911.
“I didn’t want to be implicated in a bank robbery,” he said.
Moore was on the phone with a dispatcher when Walters returned to his apartment wearing different clothes. Moore hid the phone behind his back and officers arrived within minutes.
Walters asked Moore if he could hide in his apartment.
“I said, ‘Go back (upstairs).’ I didn’t want (any) part of it,” Moore said. “I feel I did the right thing.”
Moore had known Walters for about two months. Walters, who grew up in Kansas City, has pleaded guilty to a second-degree burglary charge in Buchanan County and served time in prison after he violated his probation. Walters had told Moore he didn’t have the money he needed for a court date in Kansas City on Tuesday.
Moore said Walters, who had recently lost his job, moved to Sedalia after he was released from prison because he had friends here.
“I didn’t think he had the guts or b---- to rob a bank,” Moore said. “He just wasn’t the type.”