A Creswick man has played the part of a hero after thwarting an armed robbery at a Midland Highway service station this morning.
The man, who asked his name not be used, was lining up to fill up his car and grab his "every day sausage roll" at the Creswick service station at 6.45am when he saw a man running out of the service station, being chased by staff and other members of the public.
"I've seen this bloke in a tracksuit and runners, and with a full face mask running and there was about five or so people chasing him," he said.
"I got in the car and chased him and he ended up by the Creswick Motel (on Cushing Avenue). Then another car came flying around the corner to pick him up.
"They've actually driven through a paddock. They got to him first and he's jumped in the back seat and I heard them saying "drive, drive, drive".
"All I've wanted to do was get my hands on the keys and when they've gone to take off, I've noticed they've left the car in neutral, so I've gone in and snapped the key off."
The man said the offenders then attempted to fight him for the key, which he gave to another person who was helping.
"There was a woman who got out of the car and started fighting me for the keys, I wasn't keen to hang around, so I gave them to another bloke," he said.
"It all happened really quick. Unfortunately they got away on foot, but we got the car. I don't think it was stolen, so hopefully the police will be able to catch up with them pretty quick."
The man said it was incredibly disappointing to see such a brazen attack in a small town.
"It pisses you off," he said.
"You either let these bastards go, or you you try and help out. All I wanted to do was to get the keys.
"It's incredibly brazen and they've chosen to hit the service station at the busiest time, I don't know what they were thinking doing that."
A police spokesperson said three people attended the service station in a green sedan before one, an unknown male offender, entered the store.
"He produced a knife and made demands for cigarettes," the spokesperson said.
"The attendant did not hand over any cigarettes and the man ran back to the waiting vehicle.
"Passers-by and the attendant followed him to the vehicle and all three people abandoned the car and fled into nearby bushland.
"No one was injured during the incident. The investigation remains ongoing."
Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.