THE United Service Station is tired of being a sitting duck for armed thieves in Katherine.
The victim this week of yet another violent crime, the second in less than six months, the service station has recently upgraded its security to protect its staff.
A spokesman for the station’s management said they were “absolutely sick” of being the target of robberies.
“He (the operator) opened the cash drawer, but they kept beating him after and throwing things at him,” the spokesman alleged.
He said management were appalled by the violence which was “scaring” their staff.
United in Katherine Terrace was allegedly held up by a pack of youths armed with sticks on Tuesday morning.
It is the second time in six months the business has been the target of an armed robbery.
In September, the service station was held by four youths who threatened staff with large rocks and a metal pole.
Newspaper files reveal the service station has been the victim of many violent thefts on at least an annual basis.
Det. Sen.-Sgt Mark Malogorski this week said three males allegedly entered the 24-hour United Service Station early Tuesday morning.
“One offender has struck a staff member to the head with a wooden stick causing a large laceration,” he alleged.
Katherine police took two of the alleged offenders into custody later on Tuesday after receiving information from the public.
They were charged with aggravated robbery – armed with a weapon causing harm, and have made initial appearances in court.
Police took the third male into custody on Thursday afternoon.
The United spokesman claimed the thieves were initially after cash but even when the operator complied with the request they became violent.
“They started pushing and beating him with sticks and a stand which was on the counter,” he alleged.
”He opened the cash drawer, but they kept beating him after and throwing things at him.”
The spokesman said the operator was left bleeding after the assault and after emergency services arrived, he was taken to hospital and received three stitches in his head.
“Three of them came in with sticks for the money then another two came in and took food, they took chips, sunglasses and lollies,” he claimed.
“We are absolutely sick of it, they came in and harmed the operator, it is scary.
“We don’t want to be in any photos or have our names disclosed because we are scared they will come come back and harm us,” he said.
The manager said the store had only recently upgraded its security.
“We have CCTV covering the inside and outside of the store, we had new security installed two weeks ago to cover all of the outside area,” he said.
United Service Station staff said they were grateful to the Katherine police for their efforts.
“The police are absolutely fantastic, they helped a lot and continue to patrol around us,
“I have been to many places before but I think Katherine police are the best, the whole community is,” he said.
If you have any information that may assist police, please contact 131 444 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.