Bail denied to alleged Coniston servo robber

A Lake Illawarra man has been denied bail over allegations he was behind an armed robbery at a Coniston service station in April.

Police claim Daniel Robert Wisnewski was responsible for holding up the Gladstone Avenue petrol station and making off with two packets of cigarettes after his earlier attempt to purchase them failed.

Police documents tendered to Wollongong Local Court during Wisnewski’s bail application on Friday said Wisnewski approached the counter of the Westside Petroleum service station and asked one of the attendants for two packets of cigarettes, worth $56.

However, when he went to pay for the items his debit card was rejected, causing Wisnewski to become agitated. The court heard he allegedly attempted to take the cigarettes and leave the store without paying.

When one of the attendants said he was calling the police, Wisnewski is said to have pulled the knife from his pants and threatened to kill the man if he did. The second employee promptly picked up a baseball bat for protection. Wisnewski allegedly began to pace back and forth in front of the counter before grabbing the cigarettes and running from the store.

One of the attendants told police he saw Wisnewski get into a small red Holden sedan parked on Bridge Street.

The incident was reported to police the following day. Two weeks later officers were speaking to Wisnewski in the vicinity of the service station on an unrelated matter when the store owner allegedly identified Wisnewski as the robber and called detectives.

Police searched Wisnewski’s house later that day and allegedly uncovered clothing similar in appearance to that worn by the robber on the night of the offence.

They also detected a small amount of methamphetamine and a butterfly knife. A knife matching the description of the one used in the robbery was allegedly found in Wisnewski’s girlfriend’s handbag.

Defence solicitor Angela Melouney said Wisnewski could live with his father in Sanctuary Point and would agree to report to police if released on bail.

However Magistrate Michael Stoddart refused to grant Wisnewski bail, citing his lengthy criminal record and the strength of the prosecution case.

The matter will return to Port Kembla Court on July 9.