A woman allegedly held up a Shepparton service station with a knife in the early hours of Tuesday, November 14.
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Shepparton Crime Investigation Unit Senior Constable Jessica Stievano said the woman allegedly confronted the male service station attendant at Liberty service station with a kitchen knife and demanded money about 3am.
The woman allegedly reached across and grabbed a handful of coins, escaping with only a small amount of cash.
Two people attempted to stop the woman with their cars outside the shop part of Benalla Rd service station, but she rammed them, damaging the allegedly stolen car she was in, as well as the two other people’s cars.
Police alleged the woman also stole $2479 worth of goods from Kathmandu Shepparton in Maude St before fleeing in the same allegedly stolen car.
The car was allegedly stolen from Fitzroy.
Police allege on November 11, the woman stole petrol from the 7-Eleven service station in Wanganui Rd, Shepparton.
They allege that on that occasion the woman tried to take the attendant’s iPad and said she would give it back only if she gave her cigarettes.
She was not given the cigarettes and dropped the iPad as she left the store.
A 31-year-old Melbourne woman, of no fixed address, was arrested three hours after the armed robbery.
She has been charged with 13 charges, including armed robbery, two counts of theft, assault with a weapon, possessing a controlled weapon, theft of a vehicle, two counts of unlicensed driving, possessing methamphetamines, possessing prescription medication without a script, and two counts of committing an indictable offence while on bail.
The woman appeared in Shepparton Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday and Thursday in a bail application.
The court heard she was on eight counts of bail at the time of the charges and had more than 130 outstanding charges before the courts.
Her solicitor Alanna Noone argued that the identity of her client as the person who committed the armed robbery was in question.
She said the alleged armed robbery was “amateurish” and she only got some coins, but this was disputed by by the prosecutor.
Prosecutor Leading Senior Constable Carita Thompson said it was “sophisticated” and the woman had “entered the store covered and produced a knife”.
“She knew what she was doing,” Leading Sen Constable Thompson said.
“There is a victim involved who has been terrorised.”
Among the other issues Ms Noone said the woman should be granted bail were that she had complex mental health issues and help was available to her.
One of the biggest issues heard by the court, however, was that as a transgender woman, there were problems about how she would be held in custody.
Magistrate David Faram said the armed robbery charge was serious and he considered the prosecution case strong.
However, when bailing her, Mr Faram particularly made mention of the issues over where transgender women were jailed — whether that be in a men’s jail or in solitary confinement in a women’s prison.
“I am surprised and concerned there would be some prospect if she was remanded she may find herself in a male prison,” Mr Faram said.
“I am more concerned that if she was remanded to a women’s prison it is likely she may be kept in solitary confinement.
“That is a regrettable circumstance and intolerable on this person.
“I find it near impossible those circumstances arise in this country in 2023, but I am told that is what it is.”
The woman was bailed on conditions that she not drive, abide by a 9pm-to-6am curfew, live with her mother in Brunswick, not contact prosecution witnesses, and not leave Victoria.
She will next appear in court on the armed robbery matters in February next year.