Police hunt baseball bat bandits
TWO men armed with baseball bats robbed a petrol station in Gladstone last night, terrorising the lone attendant.
Police are investigating the armed robbery of the United Service Station on French St.
Worker Amitpal Singh had turned the lights off about 10pm and was cleaning up for the night when two men approached him from behind and threatened him with baseball bats.
They forced him through the security door and walked him behind the counter.
United Service Station owner Punar Dhillon said it was unusual the robbers would come behind the counter and he suspected the pair was watching the service station before the robbery.
At 10pm Mr Singh was cleaning the pie cabinet and left the security door open.
"They actually came round, instead of doing it over the counter. They opened the till themselves, which means they knew the system," Mr Dhillon said.
"They must of been aware of how things work."
The two men left the premises with about $700 cash and about 10 cartons of cigarettes.
"Of course it was scary for him, he had his back turned. It would have been different if he saw them coming but they caught him unaware."
Mr Singh was not physically injured during the incident but was traumatised after being told to look at the ground and having a bat pressed against his head in a threatening gesture so he would not see where the robbers escaped to.
"They made him sit there and look at the ground. Then a regular customer near the station saw them leaving and chased them - trying to confront them," Mr Dhillon said.
"They got in a car that was parked down the street and the two men and three girls drove past in a blue Holden screaming at them.
"Professional criminals wouldn't do that."
Mr Dhillon said Mr Singh activated the alarm after the two men fled.
"I guess it's life, we even live next door. You work long hours and... there are people who want everything for nothing," he said.
"It's hard to make up. Everyone should be aware of what's happening."
The first man is described as being 175cm tall with a heavy build, wearing black clothing and a balaclava.
The second man is described as being 165cm tall with a slim build, wearing black clothing and a balaclava.
Police investigations are continuing.
Detective Senior Constable Matt Columbus urged Gladstone residents who may have information about the robbery to come forward.
"We are calling for assistance and looking for witnesses to come forward with any information," he said.
Anyone with information that could assist police with their investigations should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously on 1800 333 000 or go to crimestoppers.com.au, available 24 hours a day.