South shocked by brazen robbery
Friday, 16th August, 2013
By Kurtis J Eichler
A brazen hold up at a drive through bottle shop in Patton Street has rocked Broken Hill’s South, with residents and businesses saying they no longer feel safe.
Police yesterday said they were appealing for the public’s help in catching a man of Aboriginal appearance who entered the Southern Oasis alcohol store at 8pm with a baseball bat on Wednesday night.
The man was wearing dark clothing and a balaclava.
He approached 59-year-old male employee Paul Jackson and demanded cash before leaving on foot with a sum of money and bottles of spirits.
Mr Jackson escaped uninjured from the first hold up in the 11 years he’d spent behind the counter at the bottle shop.
“It’s left a bad taste in my mouth that’s for sure,” Mr Jackson, who was reluctant to talk about his ordeal, said.
The safety of South people has taken a battering with the second hold up in six years.
Patton Street newsagent owner Christos Niarros said given the alcohol shop’s location and dark lighting, the man was a sitting duck.
“We are all worried,” Mr Niarros said.
“As a businessman I am worried but what do you do?
“You come to work and do your best.”
An emergency staff meeting was called at the South Hotel to discuss the shock robbery, which has shaken publican Gary Harkness.
“We’ve got CCTV outside as well as inside and we’ve got a light outside that’s on all the time,” Mr Harkness said.
“We are concerned but also concerned about the poor bugger who was on afternoon shift.”
He said the pub had not suffered a robbery in five years.
“We’ve had one attempt to get through the fly wire screen about five months ago.”
One South resident said she would no longer go down Patton Street after Wednesday night’s attack.
“I don’t trust it,” she said.
Barrier LAC crime manager Mick Stoltenberg asked South residents and businesses to be mindful of their own safety.
“I would hate to think that this attack is going to create public panic,” DI Stoltenberg said.
“Yes it is a serious offence but it isn’t a regular occurrence. It’s out of the ordinary for this area.”