DEEP FRIED FRACUS: A group of mates were set upon by car thieves in the car park of the Fox Street McDonald’s.THEY were just a few mates waiting for their friend to knock off work for the night.
Little did they know they were about to be set upon by a group of men desperate to take their wheels.
Kooringal man Joshua Claude Phillips and his co-accused claimed “racism” when their victims expressed surprise that they were hiding in the bushes of the Fox Street McDonald’s at night.
“S***, there’s people there,” said the driver, according to agreed police facts, of the men hiding out in front of his car.
The quip would be the catalyst for a horror turn of events, where the three mates were told to get out of the car, while the driver was threatened with “shanking”.
“He (one of the men) asked us ‘do you want to die?’ and I said no, not really,” one of the victims, Jade, told theAdvertiserin 2014.
When a late-night Macca’s run turns into a life and death experience “They told me to get out.”
The driver, Nick, who was 21,tried his best to conceal the keys by his lap, but was unsuccessful.
One of the attackers had seen it.Within minutes, the trio had stolen the Holden Rodeo and were on their way out of Wagga, as had been their plan for days.
Police facts said Phillip’s mates had arrived from Sydney and Canberra to help him move but in doing soran out of money, and were unable to find their way home.
A day before the McDonald’sattack, the men attempted to return home on the XPT service, but were booted off at Junee and Harden by train staff for fare evasion.
With a set of wheelsand no one to stop them, they were on the road to Gundagai.
But fuel would be the fatal flaw in their plan.
Running empty, they stopped at the South Gundagai Shell where they refuelled with $90 in petrol, failingto pay.
At 3.21am, just three hours after stealing the ute, a service station attendant reported the theft.
It matched the car’s registration.
Highway patrol officers found the ute on the side of the road near Yass and arrested the men.
On Monday, Phillips, the only Wagga accused, was sentenced to seven months’ prison, with a two-month non-parole period.
At the time of the ordeal, controversy ensuedbecause McDonald’s staff refused victims entry into the store.
But owner Tony Aichinger was unapologetic and saidstaff followed safety and security protocol. Mr Aichingersaid.
Daily Advertiser, Wagga