Southern Metro Regional Crime Team detectives are appealing for assistance from the public after a pregnant woman was assaulted with a hammer during an armed robbery on Tuesday night in Noble Park, Victoria Police say.
A 24-year-old woman was walking by herself west along Walsh Street towards the intersection of Simpson Street about 11.30pm when a car turned onto the road from Myrtle Street.
The vehicle, described by the victim as a silver or blue Ford Falcon XR 6 sedan, drove passed her and one of the occupants whistled at her.
The victim, who is pregnant, quickly walked along Simpson Street and turned right onto Myrtle Street, but the vehicle performed a u-turn and drove up behind her.
Four men wearing masks then left the car and approached the woman.
One was armed with a baseball bat, another was carrying a hammer and the other was holding an axe or a similar-shaped weapon.
Two men remained in the front seats of the car.
The offenders then demanded the woman’s handbag.
Before she could give it to them, one of the men swung a hammer at her.
He swung it three times, with one blow striking her on the arm as she put her arms up to protect her head.
Her handbag was then snatched from her and the offenders got back into the car.
The victim asked for her mobile phone back as she had ultrasound photos of the baby she was carrying on there.
One of the offenders threw the phone onto the ground.
The car performed a u-turn and was last seen turning right onto Heatherton Road.
The woman sustained minor injuries.
She told police the car appeared to be lowered and sounded like it had a turbo engine.
Investigators believe the incident may have been linked to an attempted carjacking in Huntingdale earlier that night.
A 25-year-old man told police a blue Ford Falcon G6 overtook him on Huntingdale Road before breaking heavily and forcing him to stop just opposite a locks factory about 11pm.
Three men then got out of the passenger doors of the Ford and approached the victim’s car armed with hammers.
The victim, who was travelling with a 26-year-old man, then put his car in reverse and the offenders ran back into their car.
The victim performed a u-turn and the Ford did the same, almost resulting in a collision.
The offenders continued to pursue the victim who was travelling north on Huntingdale Road.
The Ford then turned left onto Burlington Street and the victim continued on Huntingdale Road and onto the Princes Highway.
Two of the offenders are described as being 180cm tall, while the other is believed to be about 170cm tall.
All three men are perceived to be of African appearance and were wearing black clothing, as well as dark coloured ski masks.
Anyone with any information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers.