Police: Robbery charge to be dropped

20:02, Nov 26 2012

A 40-year-old Mataura man has been charged with robbery after stealing a car at a gas station at the weekend but police say the charges will be dropped when he appears in court.

Three passengers were forced out of their car at the Caltex petrol station in Mataura at 8.45 on Friday night by the man.

Sergeant Sharee Lietze, of Gore, said the passengers feared for their safety and gave the man the keys.

The man drove away for about five minutes before returning to fill up the car with fuel, which he paid for and then drove off again, she said.

He had no alcohol in his system and was carrying no weapons.

It was also not known if the man knew the passengers, she said.

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The man was later arrested and charged with robbery.

After receiving further information police decided the charges would be dropped when the man appears in the Gore District Court on Wednesday November 28.

Mrs Lietze said police were still investigating the matter and would not comment on what the new information was or if the robbery charge would be replaced with a different charge.

Mataura Caltex owner John Smith said staff member working at the time of the incident was concerned about the welfare of the passengers.

Surveillance footage has been given to police, he said.

The Southland Times