Bandit buster

Murray McKechnie says his years of training kicked in during an attempted hold-up. Picture: Bruce Hunt www.communitypix.com.au d409694
Murray McKechnie says his years of training kicked in during an attempted hold-up. Picture: Bruce Hunt www.communitypix.com.au d409694

Mr McKechnie, who has run Kalamunda Kickboxing and Martial Arts for the past 15 years, found himself in the middle of a potential crime scene when a man entered the Gull petrol station on the corner of Lesmurdie and Canning roads and allegedly threatened staff with a gun.

Mr McKechnie said he was about to leave the station about 12.55pm last Friday when he noticed an intoxicated man at the counter.

‘I grabbed a drink as an excuse to go over to the counter and see what was going on and he said ‘Oh just leave the money on the counter, I’ll let them know you bought the drink’,’ he said.

‘At first I thought he was the boyfriend of one of the girls that worked there and was causing trouble because there was no one behind the counter, so I went behind the counter and saw the two staff members barricaded in the office and on the phone calling the police.’

Mr McKechnie kept his composure, stood near the alleged offender and prepared himself in case the man made any sudden moves.

‘My training has taught me to be prepared and assess the situation; I grabbed him by the arm and took him outside to sit by the fence until the police arrived,’ he said.

‘It wasn’t until later when they discovered a pellet gun behind the counter that I found out he may have been armed.

‘I believe he may have thrown it behind the counter when I went out the back looking for the staff.’

Mr McKechnie said he did not know how potentially serious the situation was at the time.

‘It was not like the guy was waving a gun around,’ he said.

Forrestfield police officer in charge, Senior Sergeant Wal Brierley, said the alleged offender, a 42-year-old Lesmurdie resident, was arrested and charged with being armed in a way to cause fear.

The man was expected to appear in court yesterday.