A nationwide Telstra outage lasted more than 24 hours. Picture: Mick Tsikas/AAP
A nationwide Telstra outage lasted more than 24 hours. Picture: Mick Tsikas/AAP

Telstra loses 770 Aussie criminals

POLICE is South Australia are scrambling to track down a violent offender who is at large after a nationwide Telstra outage.

Robert Carl Stehr, 43, has not been heard from since catching a bus from Mount Gambier, in southeast SA, to Adelaide on Friday.

The convicted violent offender is on bail and wears an electronic monitoring device as part of his parole conditions.

SA's bracelet monitoring system is used to track a wide range of people within corrections and the court system including those on parole, those serving home detention sentences and those on strict bail conditions.

It is also used by the drug treatment court.

But after Telstra's network went down, Stehr has not been found.

"Numerous inquiries by SAPOL and Department for Corrections have failed to locate him," a spokesman for South Australia Police said.

"Police in Adelaide and Mount Gambier are making inquiries to locate a man who may be breaching his bail."

Stehr is not the only one. Between Friday morning and 12.30pm Saturday, more than 770 offenders were unmonitored.

Corrections South Australia staff had to track them down individually, leaving Premier Steven Marshall fuming.

"Cleary this is an unacceptable situation and clearly this is a situation that we cannot afford to occur again," he told reporters on Sunday.

"There will be a full investigation and we'll keep the people of South Australia updated."

Robert Stehr is on the run. Picture: SA Police
Robert Stehr is on the run. Picture: SA Police


The nationwide outage also affected EFTPOS machines and ATMs. Taxi companies could not operate effectively and businesses ground to a halt.

A Telstra spokesman said team members "worked through the night on the fix".

"We sincerely apologise to customers for the impact it had through yesterday and overnight," the spokesman said.

The outage came days after an issue affected access to some Telstra apps and the company's website, including cloud services.

South Australia Police are urging Stehr to contact police as soon as possible.

Anyone who sees him or has information about his whereabouts is are asked to contact the police assistance line on 131 444.

- with AAP