Arrest at Balaklava

A brazen armed thief allegedly robbed a service station in Dublin last week, making off with an undisclosed sum of money.

Police were called to the scene just after 7.45pm on Tuesday, June 30 after reports a man threatened staff with what appeared to be a gun covered by a cloth, and stole cash.

The suspect was last seen getting into a white utility parked on Port Wakefield Highway and driving off.

A 39-year-old Balaklava man has since been arrested and appeared in the Elizabeth Magistrates Court on July 2.

Although shaken up by the incident, the service station           attendant – a young woman in her early 20s who lives in the township – was not physically injured.

Service station owner and manager, Mark Heritage, said the distressing incident was the first robbery experienced at the business since he took over 16 years ago.

“It was a very traumatic           incident and my primary concern, first and foremost, has been the well-being and safety of my staff,” Mr Heritage said.

“There were three people (staff) here on the night, seven or eight customers in-house as well, and he made a rather quiet entrance.

“Of course the staff very quickly realised he was in a balaclava and overalls and had a gun under a cloth, (and) were very diligent in their procedures.

“In actual fact I think what we do is pretty close to the mark and is probably why everything on the night played out in terms of our actual procedures; duress buttons were hit (and) I think she (the attendant) did an amazing job.”

Mr Heritage said it was likely the man had frequented the business in the past, considering he lived at nearby Balaklava.

“We have probably all served that man in the past,” he said.

“I’ve seen and served a lot of people here in that time, let’s hope it’s the last time it happens.

“I’m particularly peeved it was a local (but) there was a sense of relief when we learnt he had been apprehended in pretty quick time.”

Acting on information from the public, police attended a Balaklava property on Wednesday, July 1 and conducted a search, locating a white utility along with clothing and a firearm alleged to have been used during the robbery. Police also uncovered an amount of ammunition.

The Balaklava man was charged with commit theft using force, no firearms licence, unregistered firearm, possess a firearm without identifying mark and other offences in relation to insecure ammunition.

Anyone who may have dashcam footage of the vehicle on Port Wakefield Road, or has any other information, is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or online at www.crimestopperssa.com.au