$25,000 bail set for accused carjacker

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Richard Byrd/Columbia Basin Herald Charlotte Albert stands in Grant County Superior Court Thursday afternoon.

MOSES LAKE — Bail has been set at $25,000 for a Moses Lake woman who stole a 69-year-old woman’s car in Moses Lake on Wednesday and went on to crash the vehicle at a high-traffic intersection in Moses Lake.

Grant County prosecutors charged Charlotte Albert, 52, in Grant County Superior Court with second-degree robbery, theft of a motor vehicle and hit-and-run-attended vehicle. Chief Deputy Prosecutor Alan White requested the defendant's bail be set at $100,000, but Judge David Estudillo went under that recommendation at set Albert’s bail at $25,000.

The 69-year-old carjacking victim told police she was in the 500 block of North Clark Road and had exited her blue Honda to put an Avon magazine in a mailbox. When she returned to her vehicle she said “hello” to a woman, Albert, whom she said she did not know. Albert, who lives in the 500 block of North Clark Road, reportedly ran to the woman’s vehicle and jumped in the driver’s seat.

“(The victim) gave chase to Albert and grabbed Albert by the hair while Albert entered the car. Albert was still able to get into the car and accelerated while (the victim) had hold of her hair. (The victim) was dragged beside the car for several feet before losing her grip and letting go,” wrote a Moses Lake officer.

Albert took off from the area, struck a truck as she was attempting to make a left turn onto North Mattson Drive and made her way on to the Alder Street Fill. She continued driving south on Stratford Road and ended up rear-ending a vehicle at the East Broadway Avenue intersection. Albert led police on a brief foot chase after the crash before she was ultimately taken into custody.

Albert is no stranger to the criminal justice system over the past couple of years. In July 2017 she entered guilty pleas to third-degree assault-law enforcement officer and attempting to elude in connection with a November 2016 incident in which she led police on a low-speed pursuit in Moses Lake and was arrested after she rammed a Washington State Patrol trooper’s vehicle. Albert was sentenced under a first-time offender waiver of a standard sentence and received a 90-day jail sentence. Court records state “reasonable grounds exist” to believe Albert is mentally ill and the condition is “likely to have influenced the offense.”

A July 5, 2017 letter submitted by Grant Integrated Services (GIS) states Albert had been receiving help since August 2016 for "mental health concerns" and she was good at making her scheduled appointments and was "willing to work on her goals." A letter filed with the court by one of Albert’s family members states she has experienced “severe mental health issues.”

Albert also entered guilty pleas in July 2017 to three counts of indecent exposure and fourth-degree assault in connection with an August 2016 incident in which she forced her way into a home in the 500 block of North Clark Road while naked and came into contact with a young child in a bathroom at the home. Albert’s sentence in that case was ordered to run concurrently with her sentence in the low-speed pursuit case.

Richard Byrd can be reached via email at city@columbiabasinherald.com.

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