Man arrested in Riverside Grocery robbery

The Riverside Grocery Store was robbed on Sept. 30 by a masked suspect who  assualted the clerk and stole $600 in cash. Tips from a videow that was released by the Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office led to the arrest of Alex A. Sanchez as the alleged perpetrator. Gary DeVon/staff photo

The Riverside Grocery Store was robbed on Sept. 30 by a masked suspect who assualted the clerk and stole $600 in cash. Tips from a videow that was released by the Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office led to the arrest of Alex A. Sanchez as the alleged perpetrator. Gary DeVon/staff photo

Man also suspected in Dan’s Market robbery

Robbery Suspect Alex A. Sanchez of Oroville was arrested by Oroville Police. He is suspected of robbing the Riverside Grocery and Dan's Market. OCSO photo

Robbery Suspect Alex A. Sanchez of Oroville was arrested by Oroville Police. He is suspected of robbing the Riverside Grocery and Dan’s Market. OCSO photo

OKANOGAN – A suspect in the armed robberies of two small grocery stores was arrested following several tips from people who recognized him from a video of the robbery of the Riverside Grocery released by the sheriff’s office.

On Monday, Sept. 30 the Riverside Grocery was robbed by a suspect who assaulted the clerk and stole approximately $600 in cash from the till. From the information obtained at the time and a video of the robbery that was put out to the public, the sheriff’s office received several calls in reference to the suspect in the video. On Wednesday, Oct. 2, Alex A. Sanchez, 37, of Oroville, was arrested and booked for the robbery.

“We had received numerous calls from citizens stating that they had watched the video and told us that the suspect in the video was Sanchez. We also knew that Sanchez drove a van which had been described to us by the victim of the robbery,” said Sheriff Frank Rogers in a press release.

Rogers continued, “When we felt we had enough on Sanchez we put out the information to local law enforcement to look for him. At around 5:30 p.m. last night Chief Clay Warnstaff of the Oroville Police Department spotted Sanchez who got out of the van and went into an apartment in Oroville.”

Deputies were responding to the scene when Sanchez left the apartment and got back in the van and started to leave. Chief Warnstaff stopped the vehicle and arrested Sanchez at the scene without incident. Sanchez was transported to the Okanogan County Jail and booked for robbery in the first degree.

“The case is still under investigation and we believe that Sanchez was possibly the one that robbed the Ellisforde store last month. Sanchez is well known to law enforcement and has extensive criminal history. We are also looking into other possibilities,” said the sheriff.

In that theft a masked man with a box cutter, described as a Hispanic male wearing a red bandana over his face held up Dan’s Market on Sunday, Sept. 8.

“A Hispanic male with a box cutter came into the store wearing a hat, mask and gloves last Sunday afternoon demanding money,” said Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers at the time. “He took $1500 and locked up the woman working there….”

The man was wearing black jeans, a dark hoody, a cap and a red bandana over his face, according to the clerk’s grandmother, who added that her granddaughter was locked in the beer cooler until someone came into the store, heard her and let her out.

“She blocked the door from the inside so he couldn’t get to her if he decided to try to get in to the cooler,” said the grandmother.

Sanchez is known to travel between Douglas County, according to Rogers.

“I give a lot of credit to everyone involved, they put a lot of time and effort in this case to make an arrest before someone less was robbed or hurt. But we are extremely grateful and want to thank the citizens of Okanogan County, for all who called in with information. Because they took an interest we were able to make a speedy arrest in the case and for that, we thank you,” Rogers said.

About Gary DeVon

Gary DeVon is the managing editor of the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune and celebrated his 25th year at the newspaper in August 2012. He graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Communications - Print Journalism, with an emphasis in photojournalism. He is a proud alumnus of Oroville High School. His family first settled in Okanogan County in the late 1800s. His parents are the Judy DeVon and the late Larry DeVon and he has two younger brothers - Dante and Michael. Many family members still call Oroville home. He is single with a grown daughter, Segornae Douglas and a young granddaughter, Erin.

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