A SLOW-moving thief was allegedly caught in the act trying to rob the Smythesdale Roadhouse this morning.
Police received a call at 3am after reports of a break-in at the Glenelg Highway service station, where an offender had smashed his way into the premises.
With a sledgehammer, the culprit smashed through the glass doors and caused substantial damage.
Once inside, the 38-year-old Brown Hill man allegedly tried to steal a number of items, before being arrested at the scene after police arrived.
Police say there was an audible alarm fitted to the building, although it was also smashed by the sledgehammer.
It is not known exactly how long the man was inside, although Smythesdale Police Senior Constable Craig Grenfell said it would have been an extended period given he was still on the scene by the time police units arrived from Ballarat.
"He's been inside for a substantial amount of time and was still inside when police arrived," he said.
The Brown Hill man was charged with burglary offences and will front Ballarat Magistrates Court next month.