Man, 43, charged over service station robberies

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FRANKSTON detectives played a crucial role in apprehending a man wanted over multiple service station robberies in Mornington, Frankston, Moorabbin, Berwick and Frankston on Friday night, 17 February and early Saturday morning, 18 February.

Detective Senior Constable Mitchell Hardisty, of Frankston CIU, said police believe the same man may have been responsible for previous robberies at the United service station on Tyabb Rd, Mornington, and the 7-Eleven on McMahons Rd, Frankston.

It is alleged the Mornington man, 43, struck at the United service station in Mornington-Tyabb Rd, 10.15pm, Wednesday 15 February, wearing a hoodie and with his face covered. He was wearing a hi-vis vest and carrying a large knife. He allegedly shouted “Give me cash, give me cash” and used the knife to intimidate staff before running back to his car with $300.

The man allegedly used the same tactics to rob the 7-Eleven outlet in McMahons Rd, Frankston, 2.05am, Thursday 16 February, and again 8.15pm, Friday 17 February, before making in off in his car which was parked in the nearby Homemakers Centre car park.

Also on that Friday night the man allegedly struck at the Coles Express in High St, Berwick, 10.32pm, and made the same demands for cash and making off with $200. Around midnight it is alleged he robbed a service station in Point Nepean Rd, Dromana, stealing a small amount of cash.

At 4.40am on Saturday 18 February the attendant at the 7-Eleven in Mornington-Tyabb Rd refused to open the door when the man appeared outside and shouted the same demand for cash.

At 5.45am Saturday it is believed the man stole $200 from the Coles Express on South Rd, Moorabbin, and, at 8.45am, attempted to rob the BP Langwarrin service station, Cranbourne-Frankston Rd, where the attendant locked himself in the backroom as the man tried unsuccessfully to open the till.

An alert tradie watching outside followed the man back to his car and attempted to block him in. The man twice rammed the tradie’s car before escaping, but this allowed the tradie time to get his registration number, leading to his arrest later that day and giving police his address.

The man then allegedly stole a small amount of cash from the BP service station on Frankston-Dandenong Rd, Carrum Downs, 9.15am, Saturday, after making the same demands and using the knife to intimidate staff.

Senior Constable Cameron Fields and Constable Anthony Box, on patrol in the Mornington divisional van, 9.50am, Saturday 18 February, spotted the man driving a Mazda hatch on Tanti Av after a registration alert from Frankston detectives.

“We put on the lights and siren as the man did a U-turn into the Beleura Private Hospital goods delivery bay and arrested him without a struggle,” Senior Constable Fields said.

After the man’s arrest, Detective Hardisty said a search of his Mornington home found a quantity of stolen items.

The man was later charged with seven counts of armed robbery, two of attempted armed robbery and three traffic offences. He was remanded in custody to appear at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court at a date to be fixed.

Anyone who witnessed any of the robberies is urged to call Detective Hardisty at Frankston CIU on 9784 5555, Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential crime report at crimestoppersvic.com.au

First published in the Frankston Times – 27 February 2017

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