By Helen Tatchell
It weighs close to 300 kilograms and most likely not on the top of the list of things to steal in a hurry. However, someone thought it was a good idea.
The Myki machine was bolted to the ground and hooked up to mains power before it was ripped from its moorings from the Ballan train station last Tuesday 25 February, in the early hours.
It was later found dumped and damaged on the Ballan-Meredith Road, and is not believed to have been accessed internally.
Police from the Transit Divisional Response Unit are investigating and said they are appealing to the public for help.
“Unknown offenders have attended the Ballan Railway Station at about 3am and stolen the Myki machine.
“Anyone with information that could assist police with their enquiries is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report online at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au”.
A Department of Transport spokesperson told the Moorabool News the Myki services are expected to be restored at Ballan Station this week, “following the recent theft of the station’s myki vending machine.”
“V/Line conductors and other staff are also helping to guide passengers to the best places to top up when
the station is closed while we work to replace the myki machine.”
Ballan Station is staffed from 5am until 1pm on weekdays and from 6am to 1pm on weekends for passengers to top up their myki and purchase new cards when needed from the station services desk.
Conductors and other V/Line staff have been briefed to look out for Ballan passengers when checking tickets and advise where they can top-up their myki at their destination.
The myki readers at Ballan Station are fully functional so passengers can still touch-on and touch-off as normal.
It is unclear if there are persons of interest or if any CCTV footage indicated how the offence took place.
Gordon and Ballan Police along with the Crime Services Unit attended the scene and the matter is currently under investigation.