Safety fears for local fuel station staff

Saddleworth Roadhouse employees are concerned for their safety following two robbery attempts early last month.

On September 6, a male in a station wagon with a horse float in tow had attempted to steal petrol from the service station’s fuel tank in the early hours of the morning.

He first attempted to cut the lock on the tank, but failing to do so he turned his attention to cutting the cap of the fuel tank and making off with the dipstick which is used to measure fuel levels.

The dipstick costs around $300 to replace.

An estimated 100 litres of petrol was leaked from the tank after the cap was cut.

A fortnight earlier, the same man in the same car, at almost the same time, stole the dipstick from the other tank, now leaving them unable to measure the amount of fuel remaining in the tanks.

Roadhouse manager Satya Challagulla – who also manages the Angaston roadhouse in the Barossa Valley – said he was concerned for the safety of his employees and for the community as a whole.

“He was cutting the lock with some kind of instrument; he is cutting the tank and this is very, very dangerous,” he said.

“If the spark gets into the tank, I think about 20 per cent of the town will be blown up.

If the spark gets into the tank, I think about 20 per cent of the town will be blown up

Satya Challagulla

“So that is the most dangerous thing that might happen and it is our concern that he might do that.”

The theft of the dipsticks left Mr Challagulla puzzled, saying they would only be of use to someone who owns a petrol station.

The robberies have not had an impact on business, with the station still offering competitive fuel prices.

Reports have been made to the police regarding both robberies however Mr Challagulla has not had any word since.