Car trunk hiding-spot a fail for suspected thief in Victoria

The trunk of a car turned out to be a poor hiding spot for a suspected thief in Victoria.

Police were on the hunt for a suspect after a rash of thefts from underground parking garages in recent weeks.

Officers responded to a building in the Vic West neighbourhood around 3 a.m. on Tuesday after a resident spotted a man entering the underground parking lot.

The man matched the description of a suspect that had been distributed by Victoria Police, said acting spokesperson Bowen Osoko.

An initial search by the officers turned up nothing. But then a police dog arrived.

The dog led officers to the trunk of a car. Inside, they found their suspect who had locked himself inside in an attempt to hide.

"He was locked in there, so it's kind of good for him that the dog found him," Osoko said. 

The man was taken into custody and faces charges related to the break and enter, he said.

Spike in underground parking thefts

Investigators will also be looking to see if the suspect is linked to more than 20 other recent break and enters in underground parking areas in Victoria.

"Our investigation is ongoing. That is why we are asking people for more information if they have it," Osoko said.

"We suspect that this person may have been working for a longer period of time than we are currently aware."

Thieves have been using a similar method to gain entry to the various secure parking areas, Osoko said.

He declined to share details to prevent future thefts, but said Victoria Police are offering to assist building managers and strata councils to fix potential vulnerabilities.

An officer with expertise in environmental design is available to help ensure underground parking areas are as secure as possible, Osoko said.