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Frightening ordeal for pub owner and family
WHEN Sandy Creek Hotel owner
Dallas Larner heard some banging on
his door in the early hours of yesterday
morning, he was prepared for the fight
of his life.
A gang of men barricaded Mr Larner,
his partner Mignon McLeod and their two
young daughters inside the historic pub in a
brazen robbery attempt.
Just after closing, the group had knocked
on the door, asking for help with their
Sensing a rat, Mr Larner did not open the
door and offered to call for help on behalf
of the men.
"As soon as I said that, they told me to
'piss off '; I walked off and didn't think
much of it," he said.
But the group soon returned, barricading
the front door of the pub with steel rods
and pallets, before attempting to jemmy
open the back door.
"I think it was about 2.30am...I woke up
and...there were four people trying to get in
through the back door," Mr Larner said.
"I started yelling at them and carrying
Miss McLeod said the gang was undaunt-
ed by the fact there was a family inside.
"Even though we were yelling they were
still trying to get in," she said.
"We were terrified, I've got young kids...
the youngest one was crying."
However, the couple had immediately
called police and the quick response by lo-
cal patrols scared the group off.
"They were so quick, we were really
pleased," Miss McLeod said.
"The police were very good, they were
out here within five minutes.
"I was still on the phone when they
An alleged member of the gang was ap-
prehended, but, after questioning, police let
him go without charge.
"They caught one of them, but he said
he didn't know who the others were, he just
met them, the usual story," Miss McLeod
"They questioned him for about 40 min-
utes and let him go because they couldn't do
anything," Mr Larner added.
"But he even had gloves on. They couldn't
charge him with anything because they
didn't see him do anything."
Miss McLeod appealed for anyone who
knew about the crime to come forward.
"They were coming to rob the place," she
"We got a plate number of the car they
were in, S462 AUC...please contact police
if you know anything."
Gawler police senior sergeant Brenton
Costello said police were continuing to pur-
sue enquiries regarding the incident.
"We haven't seen any similar offending in
the local service area," he said.
"We are hoping it is a one-off.
"It's scary for something like that to hap-
Anyone with any information about the
incident should contact Crime Stoppers
(1800 333 000).
I think it was about
2.30am...I woke up and...there were
four people trying to get in through
the back door. I started yelling at
them and carrying on.
Sandy Creek Hotel owner Dallas Larner stands near where the front door to his pub was
PHOTOS: Mary Ackers
INSET: The pieces of wood
used in an attempt to
jemmy open the back door
of the pub.
BELOW: The Sandy Creek
Hotel had never been
broken into before the
incident on Tuesday
Due to the
on Monday the
next edition of
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