Robbers slash, threaten Forks store employee; 2 men make off with $1,400

By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News

FORKS — Two masked men stabbed and threatened an employee with death as they robbed a store of $1,400 this week.

Anna Matsche, the owner of Native to Twilight, is offering a $1,025 reward, which has been fueled by community donations, for information about the robbers.

Her employee has been discharged from Forks Community Hospital, where she was treated for cuts on her arms and torso and bruises on her face and legs after the Wednesday night armed robbery.

“They threatened her life,” Matsche said Thursday.

“They told her that they could kill her.”

Because of the death threat, Matsche declined to name the employee, saying the woman is terrified.

“She's in a lot of pain,” Matsche added.

Two men dressed in black with military-style work boots and wearing black ski masks and black gloves walked into the store at 10 Forks Ave. between 8:30 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. as the employee was preparing to close the business for the night, Matsche said.

The worker didn't see them until they plucked at her blouse from behind to get her attention, Matsche said.

They demanded the money from the cash register.

“They wanted the night deposit,” Matsche said.

When the employee didn't immediately open the register, they threw her and the cash register on the floor, Matsche said.

Noticing the key on the employee's bracelet, they sliced it from her arm with a knife, cutting her in the process.

“They ripped up her blouse with the knife and cut her,” Matsche said.

“They tried to stab her in the stomach and arms.”

Matsche said the larger of the attackers held the employee's head to the ground with one boot, and they kicked her in the legs.

Opening the register with the key, the two took about $1,400 in cash and fled from the store, Matsche said.

The employee called 9-1-1 and was taken by ambulance to the hospital, Matsche said.

Forks police did not return calls requesting comment Thursday.

Matsche said she is offering a $1,025 reward to the first person who provides information leading to the arrest of those responsible for the attack and robbery.

She began with a $500 reward but has received community donations to increase it.

The store employee described one of the men as an adult with a large build, standing 5 feet, 10 inches tall, with broad shoulders, shoulder-length black hair visible under the ski mask and dark-brown eyes, Matsche said.

The other she thought might be a teenager, 5 feet, 2 inches tall, thin, also with dark-brown eyes.

She couldn't estimate their ages.

Matsche said police officers told her they will review security surveillance video from nearby businesses to see whether they can identify the attackers.

The store is insured, but Matsche said she did not yet know what insurance may be able to repay.

Native to Twilight is one of three Forks stores specializing in merchandise related to the series of novels by Stephenie Meyer and movies based on the novels.

It carries both “Twilight” merchandise and Northwestern Native American arts and clothing items.

The store has reopened for regular hours, but there will be new security and surveillance systems installed at the store.

The violence and deliberation of the robbery chilled Matsche.

“We live in a town where things like this don't happen,” she said.

Yes, there is crime, she said, but Forks crime is usually small — a stolen planter or burglaries committed when there is no one home, all with a low likelihood of confrontation.

“It seems like they had it planned,” she said.

Anyone with information on the robbery and assault is asked to phone the Forks Police Department at 360-374-2223.

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Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at arwyn.rice@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: August 21. 2014 11:17PM
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