Homicide Squad detectives are today renewing their appeal for information following the death of a man in Dandenong earlier this year.
Mitat Rasimi was located inside a car that crashed into a pole in Dawn Avenue on about 9.55pm on Sunday, 3 March.
The 51-year-old Dandenong man had been driving the vehicle at the time of the incident.
Emergency services were called by a number of people following the crash, with those people also reporting that gunshots had been heard and a vehicle had been seen leaving the area.
When police arrived, Mitat was found to have a number of gunshot wounds and died at the scene.
Around 30 minutes later, police received a report of an attempt to set a vehicle on fire on McMahens Road in Bangholme.
One of the offenders who is believed to have been trying to start the fire was disturbed by a witness who described the man as having a solid build.
This vehicle was a distinctive stolen orange Ford Ranger ute and investigators now believe that the car is linked to the Dandenong shooting.
The fire was extinguished, and police subsequently seized the vehicle for forensic testing.
That process remains ongoing.
Police are today releasing CCTV footage of the orange Ford travelling in the Dandenong area in the hope someone recognises it and can provide detectives with information about who may have been in the vehicle or it’s movements in the lead up to the fatal shooting.
Investigators are also releasing images of the car from the Bangholme scene.
Detective Inspector Andrew Stamper said police were still trying to determine the motive behind Mitat’s death.
“Over the past seven months, police have put a significant amount of work into trying to determine who wanted Mitat dead and why,” he said.
“Mitat was known to police and he had connections to a number of organised crime groups, however the exact motivation for the shooting is still unclear.
“Investigators strongly believe it was targeted but we don’t know who is responsible.
“We’re hoping that by releasing the footage and details of this orange Ford Ranger, someone will recognise it and be able to provide more information about it’s movements in the lead up to the shooting.
“It’s an incredibly distinctive car and certainly there aren’t too many around.
“We’re keen to speak to anyone who remembers seeing the ute, either in the Dandenong area or elsewhere, prior to or after the shooting, to come forward.”
Police are also appealing to the Albanian community in particular to come forward with any information they may have about Mitat’s movements in the lead up to his death.
“Mitat had an Albanian background and we know he had a lot of friends and contacts within that community,” Det Insp Stamper said.
“I understand some people may not have felt they had anything to tell police about his death or why it happened.
“However it’s crucial that we try and piece together his last movements in the days leading up to his death, so we’re hoping that people within the Albanian community who might have seen him will come forward and speak to us.
“It could be something really simple – you might have seen him at a shop, at a friend or associate’s house, driving somewhere – any piece of information could help detectives.
“I also want to assure people who are feeling hesitant that any of this information can be provided anonymously via Crime Stoppers, but we really do need your help.”
Anyone with any information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report online at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au