Victorian thief targets Broadmeadows charity shop and takes supplies for flood victims
Victoria’s flood emergency has taken a cruel turn with detectives chasing a thief accused of stealing donations intended for victims.
A man stormed into United Emergency Relief in Broadmeadows on Saturday just before 3am on Saturday after arriving in a white van with NSW license plates.
WATCH VIDEO ABOVE: The thief targets a charity shop and loots items for flood victims.
Watch the latest news on Channel 7 or stream for free on 7plus >>
Many boxes of donated items were stolen, including gift certificates, toys and food.
Police said the thief was seen driving out of the center and putting the boxes in the van before driving off.
“We have people in dire need of this because of the flooding…for this to happen is just devastating,” said Bronwyn Pike, CEO of Uniting Victoria.
“(They) did a bit of damage and took essential items from incredibly needy people – so it was a pretty ordinary thing that happened.”
The offender is described as having a strong build and being about 180cm tall.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the police.
More warnings in place
Meanwhile, the Bureau of Meteorology warned Monday morning that severe storms could hit towns upstate, including Echuca and Shepparton, producing heavy rain that could cause further flooding.
Severe weather warnings were also in place for the Mallee and Wimmera districts to the Grampians, with the office predicting up to 100mm of rain could fall within 24 hours in some areas.
“Some areas are already saturated or currently flooded due to recent rainfall, which could lead to further flooding in those areas,” he warned.
The weather system is expected to dump heavy rain across the north and west of the state during the day before easing out from the west on Monday.
The warnings follow multiple flood peaks reached across the state over the weekend as residents of Echuca were forced to evacuate flooded rivers.
The Murray River exceeded the 1993 flood level by 94.77 meters above sea level at Echuca on Saturday and is expected to peak at around 95m Sunday evening through Monday.
Engineers checked the Victorian-NSW border town’s three kilometer temporary earth dike and it remained structurally sound.
Further northwest, the Loddon River at Kerang crested below the predicted 78m at 77.97m, but the threat has yet to pass.
Floodwaters have only receded slightly and are not expected to recede noticeably for five to seven days, keeping the community isolated.
A levee in the southwest corner of the city was breached, sending water into an industrial area, caravan parks and around 20 homes.
Premier Daniel Andrews pleaded with residents of Echuca and Kerang to heed evacuation advice.
“Please think carefully. We do not issue these warnings lightly,” he said.
– With PAA