A Temuka Z Energy staff member who was threatened by a man wielding a knife yesterday was trained to deal with such incidents.
A 52-year-old Mid-Canterbury man was arrested and charged with aggravated robbery just hours after the incident.
All Z Energy staff are trained to deal with armed robberies, senior communications advisor Sheena Thomas said. "It's very comprehensive training they have to go through regularly, so the training is constantly refreshed."
She praised the actions of the attendant, saying she did everything right. "We're really, really proud of our staff member. It's never an easy situation."
She said the woman was coping well and, like all company staff who experienced such situations, had been offered counselling to help recover from the ordeal.
Z Energy, which has 213 service stations nationwide, was robbed five times last year.
To help combat the problem, the company has adopted a pilot programme, which uses a DNA spray. The solution is a water-based, non-toxic spray that incorporates an ultra-violet tracer, with each batch of the solution having a unique synthetic DNA that is registered to a location. "What it does basically is sprays robbers with an invisible mist. If the cops arrest them they can shine an ultraviolet light over them and trace them back to the scene of the crime."
She declined to comment on how the spray is triggered.
The DNA spray system is not being used in Temuka.
Another system being used in Z Energy stores with longer opening hours sees customers pay via a slot in a window during certain hours of the night.
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