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

A 39-year-old man from Battle Ground is accused of robbing a convenience store and imposing himself on an employee.

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

Zook remains in jail on suspicion of first-degree theft and indecent freedoms. An indictment 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 behind the locked entrance, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

The woman told police she called out items for a customer when he pulled out a knife and a Taser. The man put items he had placed on the counter into his pocket before demanding to see the employee’s breasts while brandishing his guns, the affidavit reads.

Then the thief would have groped the employee. He fled when she informed him that the police were on their way, according to the affidavit.

The employee described her attacker as a tall, bald man wearing blue clothes and a medical mask. She also described the knife and the Taser to the officers. 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 they described it, the affidavit states.

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

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