OKANOGAN — An Omak man was charged Sept. 5 with two counts of first-degree robbery in the Aug. 29 holdup of the Pumphouse Espresso stand on Riverside Drive.

Zachary Jon Berntsen, 32, Omak, was arrested Aug. 30 in a field behind Home Depot off Engh Road, said Omak Police Chief Jeff Koplin. He was booked into the Okanogan County Jail.

He was charged in Okanogan County Superior Court with two counts of first-degree robbery. Conviction of first-degree robbery carries a maximum penalty of life in prison and/or a $50,000 fine; it is a “most serious offense” under the state’s three strikes law.

An Omak Police report by Officer Gary Miller said police were called at 7:13 p.m. Aug. 29 to a report of an armed robbery at the coffee stand.

According to Miller’s report, he interviewed Alicia N. Edwards and Darbee C. Sapp, who were next door at Hometown Pizza.

Sapp apparently was closing the shop for the night and Edwards was visiting, when a man came in and asked for water and then went into the bathroom. He allegedly left and walked north across the street, and later was seen walking back toward the shop.

A few minutes later the back door opened and the man, dressed in black, was standing outside wearing an orange Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle-style mask. He allegedly displayed a gun tucked into the waistband of his pants.

He allegedly took their cellphones and business phone, and around $500 cash from the till and tip jar, and left. The women allegedly locked the doors, waited a few minutes and then went to the pizza restaurant to call police.

Other officers from the Omak department and Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office arrived and searched the area. A sheriff’s dog, Havoc, also was involved.

Several other officers also filed reports; a redacted copy of one was filed with charging documents as a probable cause statement.

Evidence at the scene gave police probable cause to arrest Berntsen, Koplin said.

As of Sept. 11, Berntsen remained in jail.

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