| 16.07,09. 05:09 AM |
Servo robbers reveal weapon of choice
July 16, 2009 12:01AM
KNIVES are used in a majority of service station robberies in Australia, a report says.
An Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) report released today also found offenders were opportunistic and did little to plan their heists.
Knives are used in 57 per cent of service station robberies, which account for one in 10 armed hold-ups in Australia, the study found.
"Infrequent use of firearms suggests the armed robberies involved little if any planning," the six-page report said, adding longer trading hours, high cash volumes and isolation encouraged spontaneous petrol station robberies.
The AIC's manager of crime reduction, Peter Homel, said armed robbers at service stations were more likely to be young, with males accounting for 89 per cent of offenders.
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"Offenders were usually male and around 23 years old," he said.
"Young offenders were found to target service stations more frequently than any other businesses."
Lone offenders acting at night made up 70 per cent of petrol station robberies, the paper entitled Service station armed robbery in Australia, found.
Armed robberies at petrol stations rose by 31 per cent between 2004 and 2006, continuing a trend which saw these crimes rise by 214 per cent during the 1990s.
The average value of stolen property was $643, with cash nabbed in 83 per cent of robberies.
Service station hold-ups made up 10 per cent of armed robberies in Australia in 2006.
Only a mugging on the street (32 per cent) and retail theft (16 per cent) were more common.
The report recommended over-the-counter money transfer trays and closed-circuit television to counter service station crime.