Armed Robber Steals Birthday Woman’s Purse in Front of Eureka Inn

An armed robber pointed his gun at a woman and her four friends celebrating her birthday early Sunday morning, according to Jessica Moore, a local resident. The group of women had just left the Old Town area and were headed back to their rooms at the Eureka Inn. “We were giggling and laughing,” Moore said. “I felt very relaxed… We walked out of the Pearl. We thought we would walk back to our room.”

The women weren’t worried because Moore explained, “There were two police cars parked by the Gazebo…They could see us all the way up to our inn.”

Moore said that the group of friends have known each other for awhile and often get together. “We’re all local girls, a couple business owners,” Moore’s voice warmed as she described her friends.

According to Moore, the women had almost gotten back to where they were staying. “We were literally walking on the sidewalk in front of the inn,” she explained, when a man accosted them.

“He had something over half of his face like a mask or a bandanna,” Moore said. “Something covering up over his nose…He said, ‘Give me your purse.”” And he pointed a firearm at her. Moore described it as a black semi-automatic handgun. She said, “It reminded me of a Glock.”

Moore said she was holding her “tangerine leather Coach” handbag. She says at that point she doesn’t really remember what happened. “I just kind of went limp and he took it and ran.” The man jumped into a car which sped off.

Her cousin, who was a member of the birthday crowd managed to snap an out-of-focus image which law enforcement now has. The getaway vehicle, Moore said, “was a four-door sedan–light, light blue or a grey. A Toyota Corolla or a Camry–like a mid-sized sedan.”

Moore said the robber was a thin, white man. According to Captain Steve Watson of the Eureka Police Department, on the night the robbery occurred, the women described the man as about 5’9″. Moore said, “I would put him in his twenties somewhere. I believe he had on a dark sweatshirt.”

Eureka Police Officers “were right the heck there” after the women’s call to 911, according to Moore. These were the same officers that had been parked at the Gazebo. “They told us they watched us walk out,” she said.

Moore said the her card was used to purchase gas almost immediately after the robbery. She is hoping that officers will be able to use surveillance video to find out more about the robber and the getaway car.

The handbag contained money, some valuables, and credit card as well as ID. “I had probably $300 in cash and my taser ironically enough,” she said wryly.

Moore describes herself as a bit of a mother hen. “I’m always thinking something like that is going to happen,” she said. “This [robbery] is just not going to help. I want people to know what is happening. I think I know what is going on in the area and I was shocked.”

Captain Steve Watson of the Eureka Police Department asked if anyone has any information about this incident to please call them at (707) 441-4060.





  • Time for Vigilantism !!! What a piece of crap to rob a group of ladies. Could of been your mother or grandmother. Hopefully that puts it in perspective.

    • My mother would not be out walking the streets between Old Town and Eureka Inn after midnight. But yeah, it’s going downhill and bound to get worse. Buckle up!

    • Not in my family. We dont go out drinking in public and then walk the streets in old town after midnight. Not out of fear, but out of reason.

      No one “deserves” to be victimized. Even if you park your car in the worst neighborhood in the US, leave the door open and the key in the ignition, you do not “deserve” to have your car stolen. That is a strawman argument people often make when the victims responsibility in a crime is pointed out.

      Just like the person who failed to secure their handgun and allowed it to end up in the hands of this attacker, did not “deserve” to have their weapon stolen, simply because they failed to secure it responsibly. However, they do share in the responsibility of the weapon ending up in the hand of a criminal.

      • Lost Croat Outburst

        Yeah, well, if a juvenile steals your car or unguarded gun and kills himself and/or others, it kinda ups the ante a little bit. If this is your idea of daily behavior, I suggest keeping a very good lawyer on retainer.

        I agree, anybody should be able to occupy a public space without threats of theft or assault. These ladies were NOT at fault; they were victims.

  • I would have shot him.. but then I would be the one going to jail.

  • If only one of the women had a handgun with a round in the chamber, safety off, in their hand at the time, they may have been able to prevent this.

    • Fingeralwayonthetrigger

      Yep your right, awesome to see the criminals face when they see you have a gun , been there done that, won’t forget the look on his face as he was looking down the barrel of my 460.

    • Tamara McCullough

      Amen! I’m wondering if you should be that ready at all times in public?

      • You have to be. We all need to walk around with guns in our hands at all times and aim them at anyone suspicious, just in case. I mean everyone was armed in the old west and it was a very peaceful time/place, right?

    • Lost Croat Outburst

      You can’t walk around with the safety off. It comes off as the suspected perp approaches, and you keep your finger out of the trigger guard until you decide to shoot. I like the basic idea, though. Concealed carry permit.

  • Is $300 worth dying or killing some one over?

    • Tamara McCullough

      It’s not just the $300. I’m sure the scumbag has and will steal MUCH more before someone stops him. And it’s the pain and sorrow and future struggles with anxiety and trust and fear. It’s the degrading of our town and society in general, ruining our peace and our ability to carry out our daily responsibilities and pleasures without the crippling effect of hypervigilance. It’s WELL worth it. How many thugs will pull an ARMED robbery successfully and then never do it again? Next time it might be YOUR mother!

    • If you pull a gun on me, that is reason enough to end your life. I don’t believe that all life is precious. Some people are just using up the clean air we have left.

    • Lost Croat Outburst

      Yeah, but if someone pulls a gun on you, you have no guarantee that they won’t kill you anyway. The assumption that $300 will instantly mollify the perp is only an assumption. You pull a gun on a stranger, you are asking to be killed and deserve it. Sorry. Tell your kids.

  • Trump will fix this problem. Just ask him.

  • all you women should of had ccw permits and been carrying. When are you going to learn?????

  • $ 300.00 to defend the second amendment is well worth it !!!

  • This was painful to read on several levels.

    Editor trying to be creative?

  • Two cars parked at the Gazebo should have been able to observe all the way to the Eureka Inn?

    I don’t think so!

    • The police presence at the Gazebo no doubt gave them a sense of security at first, and perhaps that stayed with them as they walked south, enjoying their time together. I just took a virtual walk via Google Maps Street View up F Street from the Gazebo to 7th, and discovered that they were far out of the cops’ clear view sooner than they probably realized. Remember, it was about 1:30 a.m. on an overcast night:

      Video, going up F Street from 2nd. Give it a few seconds to load and start moving.

      On the other hand, Ms. Moore saying “Eureka Police Officers ‘were right the heck there’ after the women’s call to 911” was indeed true. The first two officers arrived within 40 seconds of being dispatched, with others checking the area very shortly. Even Arcata PD’s (male) dispatcher can be heard broadcasting the description within one minute, apparently since the car was last seen heading east in their general direction:

      EPD (and brief APD) radio, first 4 minutes. (Audio Provided by under Creative Commons License V3.0)

  • It’s just sad that this happens.but a gun to the face,your life is worth more than any amount.GIVE THEM THE MONEY.and as a women get a taser gun for your purse,if your gonna party at bars.Be safe not sorry!!

    • Nah, if someone has a gun to your face, you just reach for your own gun, that’s how the whole cc permit thing works. Otherwise you’d have to have the gun already in your hand, round chambered, safety off, aimed. The super smart 2nd amendment people thought it all out.

  • The girls have the right to go out bar hopping, drinking, or whatever. They were responsible- paid their tab, and walked to their hotel and didn’t drive. They didn’t break any laws. its a shame that this happened. I feel bad for them, how terrifying.

    • Tamara McCullough

      You’re exactly right. I’m just afraid those are unrealistic expectations in our society today, It is a shame.

  • With the time change and it’s dark at 5pm, I work downtown, we try and walk with someone but I guess the buddy system is iffy.
    It does get a bit weird downtown when the sun goes down. Scary downtown anymore, it’s a shame.

  • I drove through multiple areas of Eureka today and everywhere I went I saw desperation and despair. Eureka SUCKS. Sad.

    Not to blame the victim, but… if you’re a bunch of “local girls” you certainly should have known better. It’s not dangerous just after dark… I’d say it’s fairly dangerous 24/7… and that’s fairly fricken obvious.

  • as a previous victim of a mugging, when it happens, it’s fast. I was knocked to the ground by 2 guys, face smashed into sidewalk & one stepped on my hand & broke it. A car drove by, they ran away & never caught. It happened back in ’91 & when I read this story mine came rush back into my thoughts, anxiety is going thru my body as I write this. I could not describe them & there is no time to pepper spray, kick, or anything at that moment. So I have empathy for the women & for all of those who think they’d handle it different I hope to God it never happens to you.

  • I stopped carrying a purse for this very reason. But two points, you cannot see the Eureka Inn from the gazebo and what are you doing out at that time of night? So sorry it happened.De

  • Honeydew Bridge Chump

    Even with a firearm, your priority in an armed robbery is to stay alive followed by de-escalation of the situation.

    If you choose to get in the fight you have to act fast, or if you choose to flee the fight you have only moments to decide.

    Situational awareness was something these ladies weren’t aware of.

    1) They trusted their safety to someone else instead of taking personal responsibility.

    2) They falsely believed that the armed state workers and their presence would deter an attack.

    3) They had a tool to protect their safety but it wasn’t ready to use.

    What do we learn from this?

    1) The armed state workers are no deterrent and fear for their own safety.

    2) Even the area around their command post is unsafe and they hide behind a wall and locked doors.

    3) If the ladies are going to stroll hostile areas late at night with defensive weapons that are not ready to deploy, all they are doing is supplying weapons to bad guys.

    4) Do not carry weapons unless they are ready for immediate use.

    Feel really bad for them as armed ambush style robberies are scary.

    The bad guy always has the element of surprise, and decide when to ambush.

    An effective counter ambush can only be sprung by being aware of surroundings and prepared to initiate the fight with as much force necessary to force the attacker to flee, become incapacitated, and to ensure your own safety.

    Stay alert to stay alive.

  • Higher Standards Humboldt

    This is where the EDP needs to put some women officers in plain clothes and let them walk around town at night with a decoy purse, a gun (loaded with the safety off) and a backup officer waiting nearby. Let them take a shot at the scumbags robbing people. It will only take one would be robber (maybe two.. These jackasses are not smart) getting their guts displayed on the sidewalk and the news to make them think twice about their crime spree.

  • I am the victim in this case and I want to thank everyone for the support and advice. I just want to add, in my defense, I feel horribly guilty for having let my guard down. As this is not my usual practice, in fact I’m usually quite aware and even overly cautious. Believe me, I am doing plenty of “what the hell was I thinking?” But I wanted everyone to have the information and hopefully women will be a little extra careful… I said, I appreciate the support. Sincerely, Jessica Moore

    • Honeydew Bridge Chump

      Learning from an ambush, moving forward with those lessons, and refusing to live in fear is what you’ll do.

    • Well i am glad nobody was hurt, it must have been super scary for you, i hope you canceled your cards.

    • Just remember that all of us have to deal with this reality, even big strong guy should be vigilant. You dont have to be scared or paranoid in order to be cautious. You didnt deserve to be attacked, no matter what you did, but we are all responsible for our own safety. Being aware of your surrounding and potential threats is part of black belt level self-defense.

  • Don’t put your weapons in your purse that is what they take first.

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