A LOW-life grave robber has stolen cash donations from a funeral in Melbourne's north west.

And police fear it is not the first time the heartless thief has struck, believing the man may be stalking funerals.

Avondale Heights police allege a man loitered in the foyer of the church about 11.05am on 12 January during the funeral of a man who had a child with autism.

The family had requested donations in lieu of flowers to help care for the four year old boy in the future.

The unknown and uninvited man was captured on CCTV pinching the donation envelopes just metres from the deceased's grieving family.

Man wanted following series of thefts from funeral services. Picture: Supplied
Man wanted following series of thefts from funeral services. Picture: Supplied

Police believe this is not the first time this man has struck following the theft of cash from a church donation box during a funeral service in Bundoora on 15 November last year.

The theft occurred at a church on McLeans Road where the same man is believed to have stolen the cash in the box about 3.45pm.

First Constable Belinda Petrovska said the offender may be searching funeral notices and targeting funerals that request donations.

"There have been reports of a man fitting this description attending other funerals doing the same thing,"

"It's disgusting this man is targeting grieving people at their most vulnerable," she said.

Investigators have released an image and CCTV of a man who they believe can assist with their inquiries.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

genevieve.alison@news.com.au

@GenevieveAlison

 

Police believe it is not the first time the heartless thief has struck. Picture: Supplied
Police believe it is not the first time the heartless thief has struck. Picture: Supplied


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