By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News
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The funds are coming from Forks business owners, said Anna Matsche, owner of Native to Twilight, the store at 10 Forks Ave. where the Wednesday robbery occurred.
Matsche initially offered a $500 reward, and she received pledges for $500 and for $25 within a day, increasing the amount to $1,025.
By Sunday, she had received two more pledges, raising the amount to its current standing, Matsche said.
She said Str8 Jacket T’s, Peak 6 Tours and Gift Shop, Dan Anderson of West End Motors and Richard Lohneis, property owner of the Native to Twilight storefront, each pledged money to the reward fund to help encourage anyone who knows about the robbery to pass that information on to police.
“I hope they catch them,” Lohneis said.
Lohneis said he ran a business in that building in Forks for a very long time and had never heard of this kind of brutal robbery in the area.
Peak 6, owned by Matsche’s parents, Gary and Charlotte Peterson, was burglarized earlier in August and a small fire was set inside, though it failed to do major damage, she said.
Matsche and employees at Native to Twilight have received a lot of community support from local businesses and residents, Matsche said.
“People are calling. There have been a lot of warm wishes,” she said.
The employee who was attacked has not been identified by the store owner or police for her safety and privacy.
“She is recovering at home. She is taking some time off,” Matsche said.
It is not yet known if the employee’s injuries will heal completely or if there may be some lasting damage, she said.
The employee was discharged from Forks Community Hospital after she was treated for cuts on her arms and torso and bruises on her face and legs.
Two men dressed in black with military-style work boots and wearing black ski masks and black gloves walked into the store between 8:30 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. Wednesday as the employee was marking items for sale.
During the course of the robbery, the employee had her life threatened and was slashed with a knife, knocked to the ground and kicked before the robbers left the store with about $1,400 from the cash register.
The robbers were described as an adult with a large build and standing 5 feet, 10 inches tall with broad shoulders, shoulder-length black hair visible under the ski mask and dark brown eyes.
He was joined by a thin build teenager, 5 feet, 2 inches tall, also with dark brown eyes.
Native to Twilight specializes in merchandise related to the series of novels by Stephenie Meyer and movies based on the novels, as well as Native American arts and clothing items.
Matsche said she will upgrade security and surveillance systems.
Forks Police Department is investigating the robbery and assault.
Calls seeking an update on the investigation Sunday were not immediately returned.
Anyone with information on the robbery and assault is asked to phone the Forks Police Department at 360-374-2223.
Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at email@example.com.