CCTV has captured the moment a Perth couple staged a “clumsy” hold-up at a petrol station south of Perth, which nearly unravelled when the woman forgot how to unlock the safe.
Bradley Borrett, 41, and Vicki Callaghan, 58, arranged to rob the Puma Service Station on Rockingham Road in Munster on September 4, 2018.
Callaghan was the only employee manning the petrol station when her then-partner Borrett arrived by bus and entered the store at 9.10pm wearing a skull mask and hoodie to cover his face.
He approached the counter and told her to “open the safe”.
In an effort to make the robbery appear legitimate, Callaghan replied, “What? What about the cash in the drawer?” before walking into the office and attempting to open the safe.
During Borrett’s sentencing in Perth District Court on August 13, it was revealed the pair’s plan began to unravel when Callaghan placed the two keys required to unlock the safe into the wrong keyholes.
She did this four times in a row, each time initiating a 10-minute countdown before the safe would respond.
During the failed attempts, eight customers came and went from the store, and Borrett waited in the office, stealing $250 from the second till float.
Meanwhile, Callaghan collected $725 worth of cigarettes and tobacco and threw them into the office for Borrett to put in his backpack.
Around 10pm, Callaghan’s colleague arrived to start his night shift and stumbled across the fake robbery – which had been carrying on for 40 minutes.
“He’s going to hurt everybody. You need to open the safe, there’s a robber in the office,” Callaghan said to the employee, which prompted him to walk towards the office door.
Borrett then kicked the door from the inside and told the man, “I’m going to hurt everybody if you don’t do what you’re told”.
The employee switched the keys over and the safe door opened.
After failing to react when Borrett told him to “grab the money”, Callaghan dropped to her knees, grabbed her boyfriend’s bag and shovelled $12,940 into it before he fled the scene.
Four months later, police interviewed Borrett but he declined to comment. A few weeks later, Callaghan was brought in for questioning and admitted her role in the scheme.
She was convicted of stealing as a servant and creating false belief and sentenced to a suspended one-year, two-month prison term.
Borrett eventually admitted his role in the plot and was jailed for 22 months for the robbery, backdated to July 2019.
Details of the couple’s plan were aired in court during his sentencing by defence lawyer Ken Bates.
“Initially [Callaghan] was complaining about the lax security at the store and a plan was then formulated,” he said.
“[Borrett] attended the store on one occasion and he stood in various positions to see what could be seen on the CCTV.
“He also instructs that some photographs were taken by [Callaghan] which were used to assist him in attending the store.”
Prosecutor Shannon Walker described the planning of the heist as “clumsy”.
Judge Karen Shepherd referred to Callaghan’s involvement in the offence as a “gross breach of trust” towards her employer, with her inside knowledge used to carry out the robbery.
“[Borrett] took advantage of the inside information that she provided you to know things like when would be the best time to rob the service station, where the cash was kept, when the best day would be to effect the plan, and where the CCTV cameras would capture you, and, conversely, not capture you,” she said.
“Even though I accept that you had put in a degree of planning in relation to how this offence would be carried out, it wasn’t particularly sophisticated.”
Borrett was immediately eligible for parole upon sentencing.
Borrett and Callaghan were ordered to pay $6957 each in compensation to Puma.