Man questioned over fire

A 56 year-old Yinnar man is assisting Latrobe Crime Investigation Unit with its inquiries following a grass fire on the Yinnar-Driffield Road on Friday.

Acting Detective Sergeant Ray Coles said about 12.20pm on Friday, CFA crews attended the grass fire and alerted police to a person of interest at the scene.

“We actually had a fire patrol out from the police complex, it was nearby, they immediately attended the scene and a male of interest was pointed out,” Acting Det Sgt Coles said.

“It was good work by the CFA in the first instance and it was good we had a unit out.

“He was spoken to police at the scene and is currently assisting police with their inquiries at the police station.”

Latrobe CIU has appealed for any witnesses to the incident to phone 5131 5000 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

A Morwell man was woken by police about 4.30am on New Year’s Day bearing the news his prized 1979 Toyota coupe had been stolen and set alight.

Morwell police Sergeant Graham Maidin said community members had reported the blaze on Crinigan Road.

“The owner was unaware of the theft and the police woke the owner to give him the news,” Sgt Maidin said.

“It was recovered burnt out about 200 metres from the devastated owners’ home.

“He had bought it brand new in 1979 and had maintained it fastidiously only to have someone steal it, get it bogged in a drain and then burnt out.”

Sgt Maidin said the car was stolen between 3.45am and 4am on Thursday morning and the incident was under investigation.

Latrobe Crime Investigation Unit is investigating a suspicious car fire and burglary at a property on Mason Street, Newborough at midnight on New Year’s Eve.

Detective Senior Constable Catlan Chiswell said a car parked on the front lawn of the property was set alight and the house was burgled.

Police are appealing for the Latrobe Valley community to assist in locating Morwell man Dean Hamden.

Central Gippsland Sexual Offence and Child Abuse Investigation Team detectives wish to speak to the 39 year-old in relation to assault charges.

Victoria Police said he was known to frequent the Latrobe Valley area and was believed to be actively avoiding police.

Hamden is described as being about 180cm tall with a thin build, black hair and brown eyes.

A warrant for his arrest has been issued and police have released an image in the hope someone can provide information on his current whereabouts.