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Alleged ‘shoe bandit’ charged after series of bizarre attacks on Melbourne women

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A Melbourne man has been charged with attacking five women and stealing their designer shoes.

It’s alleged he followed his victims before assaulting them and then making off with their high-end footwear.

In one incident in the early hours of December 20 last year, a man followed a woman near Batman Street, in West Melbourne, for five minutes before the attack, later taking off in a vehicle.

The 23-year-old woman was grazed and bruised during the assault and reported the incident to police.

Detectives searched a property in the city on January 26, uncovering designer sneakers that had allegedly been stolen, and arresting a 31-year-old man.

He’s facing charges including robbery, intentionally causing injury, and assault with intent to commit sexual assault.

The man has also been charged over four similar incidents across Melbourne’s suburbs, in which he allegedly also stole designer shoes from his victims.

Police say he attacked a woman on Merton Street in Springvale about 10pm on July 19, 2021, and on nearby Springvale Road just before 10pm on October 6.

Another two alleged attacks happened near Clayton train station, in an alley by the station about 10.30pm on November 14, and at the corner of Thompson Street and Flora Road just after midnight on January 10.

Detectives say their investigation is ongoing and anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers or file a confidential online report with police.

The man has been remanded in custody to face court on April 21.

-AAP

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