Police appeal after burglary and arson at North Melbourne medical clinic
Police have released CCTV footage in the hope it will assist their investigation following a suspicious fire at a North Melbourne medical centre on October 25.
Investigators are searching for two men who broke into the Royal Park Medical clinic on Flemington Rd just after 5am.
According to police, the men allegedly doused the reception area with petrol before lighting a bag of firelighters and throwing it behind a perspex barrier, which was engulfed in a ball of flames.
Police allege the men fled the scene in a white Mitsubishi Triton (with a steel tray) and were last seen travelling northwest along Flemington Rd towards Racecourse Rd.
Senior Constable Daniel Sanderson of the Melbourne Crime Investigation Unit said the motive behind the incident was “not clear to police at the moment,” but added it was a “very deliberate act”.
“They intended for the sole purpose of lighting this fire … their movements are pre-planned, premeditated; they made no attempt to steal anything,” he said.
“They appear to have attended for the sole purpose of lighting this fire.”
One male is described as South European or Middle Eastern in appearance with grey and dark facial hair and wearing a hoodie. The second male is described as Caucasian, and wearing black frame glasses, a black baseball cap, and a grey face covering.
Senior constable Daniel Sanderson said had it not been for the building’s fire suppression systems and the quick arrival of fire crews, “we would be looking at a much more devastating incident,” noting no medical documents appeared to have been damaged.
“Most of the damage had been restricted to the reception area; their computers, their phones, and smoke and fire damage in that area.”
The estimated cost of the damage was about $100,000.
Investigators have released CCTV and images of two males they believe may be able to assist with the investigation.
Senior constable Sanderson said the clinic had remained closed as well as a childcare centre on the floor above in the building.
Royal Park Medical stated on its website that the facility was “recovering as quickly as we can”.
“We are very grateful for Errol St Physio/Life Performance Sports Medicine for access to their rooms in West Melbourne,” it said.
“You can book online for a video or telephone call with your doctor as usual. And you can book an in-person consultation with the doctors who are present at Stanley St on your chosen day.”
Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Caption: CCTV images of two men they believe may be able to assist with their investigation.