‘Greedy’ thefts of fuel cash at Wodonga West APCO

Wodonga West APCO on Romet Road
Wodonga West APCO on Romet Road

An APCO employee stole more than $10,000 in profits by slipping cash into his pocket undetected for four months.

Daniel Kipp, 20, had been working at the Wodonga West service station for about a year when he started pocketing small amounts of money and covering his tracks by cancelling the transactions on APCO’s system.

When he perfected that, he moved onto larger amounts and stole a total of $10,775.75 between November 2016 and February 2017.

Kipp appeared in Wodonga Magistrates’ Court this week to plead guilty to the thefts.

His deception was eventually discovered in February when he tried the manoeuvre with EFTPOS instead of cash and his employer noticed the cancelled transaction for $50.01 – security footage showed him taking the cash out of the register.

The employer fired Kipp on February 16 and told him to pay back the money, but when that did not happen, he contacted police and the teenager was arrested.

The court heard he told police in March he would pay back the money, but only started the first of three $100 payments to APCO in May.

Solicitor Mario Vaccaro said the money was being paid back using Centrelink allowance.

“He’s got a future ahead of him, he’s learnt from his transgression,” he said.

Mr Vaccaro said Kipp had felt the pressure to pay medical, gas and electricity bills with his first job out of school, but the police prosecutor said some money was also used for selfish purposes.

“He loaned money to friends and gambled at various pokie venues around Albury,” he said.

Magistrate David Faram described using the stolen cash for alcohol and gambling as “greed”, and placed Kipp on a two-year good behaviour bond without conviction, with the condition to repay the money.

“This would have continued if it were not for one chance transaction that was investigated by his employer,” he said

“In all of the circumstances, this was opportunistic at best, but a dreadful breach of trust of someone who had given you a chance.”