A man believed to be behind four frightening armed robberies in Brimbank in the past two months remains at large.
Victoria Police is urgently trying to track down the offender before he strikes again.
Their call for assistance comes as the victim of the latest attack closes the doors on a family-run business.
The owner of Milk & Munchies in Deer Park was threatened with what appeared to be a gun during a daring daylight robbery last Monday.
The victim’s 16-year-old daughter said her dad is doing “OK” after what he described as a “very dangerous and scary” ordeal, but that he would not be reopening the Billingham Road shop as running a milk bar was “too scary”.
“We closed the shop,” the daughter said. “They’re going to find another job.”
The family moved to Australia from China about six years ago and lives above the shop. The daughter said the family was looking to move out of the suburb.
The shop owner was behind the counter on his own about 12.30pm last Monday when a man entered the store and threatened him with what appeared to be gun, demanding he hand over cash and cigarettes.
“He was standing next to the counter and holding a gun and then he was pointing it at my dad,” the daughter said.
She said the man tried to stop her father from leaving the room before her father handed him the money.
She said her father was doing “OK”.
“My dad is fine, he’s very good now,” she said.
Detective Senior-Constable Stacey Dwyer, from the Brimbank Embona Armed Robbery Taskforce, described the victim as “stoic”.
“From all reports, he’s doing quite well,” she said. “He was very calm under the circumstances.”
Police are appealing to the public to help locate the offender, believed to be a western suburbs local. He is described as southern European in appearance, aged in his mid-30s and with a “stocky” build, brown eyes and a short beard. He has been linked to three other armed robberies in the area – at a chemist on Station Road, Deer Park, on May 21; a Deer Park service station on June 18; and a Main Road West, St Albans, chemist on June 19.
Police estimate he has stolen about $1500 in cash and a couple of packets of cigarettes.
At each robbery, the offender has produced what appears to a gun, traumatising his victims. No one has been physically harmed.
Detective Senior-Constable Dwyer said police believed the offender to be a new resident of St Albans, Deer Park or Albanvale.
Anyone with information is being urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or Sunshine police on 9313 3333.