A female service station attendant ran for her life after a man, armed with a machete, dived across the counter and chased her to a customer’s car where she sought refuge, at the Docker Street Caltex service station on Tuesday night.
The violent confrontation took place at 10.47pm when the 19-year-old attendant was working alone.
“We know that a male aged approximately 28-years-old … dove through, over the counter, through the security screen whilst armed with a machete,” Wagga Police crime manager Detective Inspector Darren Cloake said.
“Fortunately she managed to escape from that confined area and sought refuge in one of the customer’s cars, who was filling up at the time,” he said.
The armed man then approached another customer.
“That male tried to flee the scene but was pursued by the offender,” Detective Inspector Cloake said.
The customer handed over some property to the machete-armed man, including a set of keys.
The offender then drove away in a green Mazda.
Police say the man arrived at the Caltex in a white Commodore which had been stolen from Lockhart, but was found burnt out in Mortimer Place; an industrial area of Wagga.
Police located the green Mazda before a high-speed pursuit was called off due to safety concerns.
Following inquiries, police began setting up a crime scene at a house in Callaghan Street, Ashmont, before they were put in danger.
“As they were setting up a perimeter, the green Mazda was driven at the police through some closed doors before it drove away, only to be later found abandoned in Thorn Street in central Wagga,” Detective Inspector Cloake said.
Police are searching for the offender, and a second person who they believe accompanied the machete-wielding man in the stolen white Commodore.
“We are again, seeking information from the public. People that were in the vicinity of the hospital or the Caltex … certainly a sole man armed with a machete would stand out,” Detective Inspector Cloake said.
Police also raised concerns about the safety of people working alone late at night who are considered easy targets.
“I hate to say it but some of the security measures put in place are inadequate,” Detective Inspector Cloake said.
“We will again conduct a safety audit and we ask that if you’re the proprietor of a service station or a business that you call upon the police and we will do a safety check.”
While police and the two victims who were attacked all escaped physical injury, Detective Inspector Cloake said the potential for death or serious injury was very real.
The service station is still referred to by locals as Finco’s, as it was formerly known as the Finco Road Pantry in the 1980s.
Extracted from: The Daily Advertiser