Monday, May 10, 2021
May 10, 2021

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Battle Ground man, 39, allegedly robbed store clerk, groped her

By , Columbian Breaking News Reporter
Published:

A 39-year-old Battle Ground man stands accused of robbing a convenience store and forcing himself on a female clerk.

Matthew D. Zook made a first appearance Friday before Clark County Superior Court Judge Jennifer Snider, who set bail in his case at $175,000.

Zook remains jailed on suspicion of first-degree robbery and indecent liberties. An arraignment hearing is scheduled for March 29.

Battle Ground police were dispatched shortly before 9 p.m. Thursday to Jiffy Mart at 100 E. Main St., for a silent alarm. When officers arrived at the convenience store, they spotted a woman crying from behind the locked entrance, according to a probable cause affidavit.

The woman told police she’d been ringing up items for a customer when he pulled out a knife and Taser. The man pocketed the items he’d placed on the counter before demanding to see the employee’s breasts while brandishing his weapons, the affidavit says.

Then, the robber allegedly groped the employee. He fled when she informed him police were on the way, according to the affidavit.

The employee described her assailant as a tall, bald man wearing blue clothing and a medical mask. She described the knife and Taser to officers, as well. During her interview, the owner arrived and allowed officers to view the store’s camera recordings. In the video, police could see a man threatening the employee as she had described, the affidavit says.

The employee also told police she had entered the suspect’s information from his ID card for a credit transaction, which officers used to identify Zook as the robber. They found him hiding in bushes two blocks away from the Jiffy Mart, according to the affidavit.

Zook was wearing the same clothing seen in the store’s video, and a knife and Taser were located in his backpack, according to the affidavit.

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