A 23-year-old woman pleaded not guilty this afternoon to charges she helped her boyfriend rob five fast-food outlets during a prolific crime spree that began in September.
Cassandra Elizabeth Koepke is charged with four counts of first-degree robbery and one count of attempted first-degree robbery.
Prosecutors contend she helped Joshua Jacob Nitschke, who is charged with 28 robberies and two attempted robberies, plan five of the heists and served as his getaway driver during those incidents.
Nitschke, 26, allegedly used a toy gun to hold up Subway sandwich shops, pizza parlors and gas stations across Pierce County. He and Koepke used the money to support their drug habits, court documents state.
Koepke allegedly once worked at a Subway sandwich shop and provided Nitschke with information about store procedures, according to court records.
Judge Gary Steiner ordered Koepke jailed in lieu of $200,000 bail.
Nitschke’s arraignment was postponed until Thursday after his court-appointed attorney objected to news outlets photographing him in open court.
Steiner said he didn’t have enough information to rule on defense attorney Richard Whitehead’s request and ordered the defense attorney and deputy prosecutor Patrick Cooper back to court Thursday prepared to argue the question.
Nitschke and Koepke were arrested Sunday by police who’d staked out a Subway shop. The Lakewood Police Department and the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department investigated the case.