Wednesday, October 16, 2013/lk
OKANOGAN An Oroville man faces five felony charges in two separate cases, including the armed robbery of the Riverside Grocery.
Alex Anthony Sanchez, 37, was charged Oct. 10 with first-degree robbery and harassment-threats to kill in the Sept. 30 hold-up. Both carry a weapons enhance-ment, and both are considered “most serious” offenses under the state’s “three strikes” law.
He also was charged the same day with third-degree assault, unlawful imprisonment and intimidating a witness for a Sept. 24 incident in Omak.
Bail was set at $100,000 in the robbery case and $15,000 in the assault case. As of Oct. 14, Sanchez remained in the Okanogan County Jail.
According to a report by Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Tony Hawley, a man wearing sunglasses and a bandana over his face entered the Riverside Grocery, 102 N. Main St., and, when owner Kim Nagy came to greet him, knocked her to the floor and punched her in the head and face.
Hawley’s report was filed as part of the probable cause statement accompanying the charges.
The thief went to the cash register, opened it, and then took bills from it. An estimated $650 was taken.
The man then left the store and drove away in a van.
Nagy called 911 and provided a vehicle description. A witness reported seeing the van heading south on Old Riverside Highway at a high rate of speed.
The Sheriff’s Office posted store security tapes on its YouTube channel and several people called in, alleging the thief was Sanchez, Sheriff Frank Rogers said.
Sanchez was arrested Oct. 2 in Oroville.
Nagy said Oct. 14 that her ribs still hurt, but otherwise she’s healed physically from the incident.
People in town and all over the county have been supportive, and have expressed sadness and anger over the robbery, or have said they wished they’d been in the store at the time to help her.
“Everybody in town wants five minutes with him,” she said of her assailant.
She said she’s pleased a suspect has been arrested — “and so quickly.”
In the assault case, Omak Police responded at midnight Sept. 24 to a report that a woman, Jennifer Marie Miley of Electric City, had been assaulted an hour earlier at an apartment on Omak’s Main Street. She alleged Sanchez was the assailant, Officer Darren Duncan’s report said.
The report was filed as part of the probable cause statement against Sanchez.
As Miley was being taken to Mid-Valley Hospital, Hawley stopped Sanchez in downtown Okanogan on a warrant and on suspicion of driving while suspended.
Duncan said he interviewed Miley at the hospital and she alleged she’d been in the apartment with Sanchez and two other people when another man came in. Sanchez allegedly called the man a “snitch” and Miley called him a “faggot.”
The name-calling continued and then Sanchez allegedly punched Miley in the face. He later stopped her from leaving and threatened to throw her in the river if she snitched on him, the report said.
She eventually got away and hitched a ride to the casino, court records show.
The maximum penalty for conviction of the robbery is life in prison.
The maximum sentence each for harassment-threats to kill, third-degree assault and unlawful imprisonment is five years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.
Conviction on the intimidation charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 yeas in prison and/or a $20,000 fine.