Tacoma man charged with robbery claims to be police informant

A Tacoma man charged with robbing a convenience store told detectives he was a police informant and needed money for a drug deal, according to court records.

Gary Casterlow-Bey, 57, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to first-degree robbery for a July 19 holdup at a 7-Eleven convenience store on McKinley Avenue.

The robber brought several items to the cash register and when the clerk began ringing them up, he pulled out a handgun and demanded money.

The clerk handed over cash in a plastic bag and the robber fled. Nobody was hurt.

Police identified Casterlow-Bey as a suspect and found him in the Pierce County Jail on unrelated charges.

During an interview, Casterlow-Bey “said he was working for a Lakewood officer and needed money to set up a drug deal around the corner,” charging papers state. “He went into the 7-Eleven and asked the clerk for some money. The clerk gave him the money, but instead of making the buy, he ‘just split.’”

Casterlow-Bey also allegedly told detectives he didn’t use a real gun during the robbery.