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Dandenong death may have followed break-in attempt, homicide police say

ABC NEWS logo ABC NEWS 2 days ago
a person crossing the street in front of a building: A woman told her husband there was a man in her garden and he went to investigate. (ABC News: Elise Kinsella) © Provided by ABC NEWS A woman told her husband there was a man in her garden and he went to investigate. (ABC News: Elise Kinsella)

Police are trying to work out whether a homeless man was attempting to break into a Melbourne house before he was fatally injured in a fight in a suburban street on Monday.

Detectives have today been stopping cars in Dandenong North, in Melbourne's south-east, as they seek information and dash cam footage of the moments leading up to the 37-year-old man's death.

Detective Inspector Tim Day of the homicide squad said a woman, 26, had noticed the man acting suspiciously in her front yard as she drove away from her home about 5:00am.

She then alerted her husband.

"Then the husband, from what we know at this stage, comes out of the residence and there's a confrontation with the male around the corner," he said.

"The circumstances are a little bit sketchy after that point in time.

"We don't know if the altercation has lasted for five, 10, 15 minutes. But as a result the 'suspicious male' is left unconscious and with injuries.

"He subsequently dies in hospital."

Inspector Day said no weapon was used in the fight.

He said he wanted to bring "as much evidence to the table" as possible because police only had one version of events.

The 31-year-old resident, who was taken to hospital with minor injuries after the fight, has been questioned by police but released without charge.

"The essence of the investigation is … determining [the resident's] culpability, whether he was justified in the use of force," Inspector Day said.

"The exact circumstances of what occurs in the lead-up to that altercation, what's said, what is done, what's physically done is what we're trying to corroborate."

In a statement, police said they were keen to speak to anyone "who may have seen a man chasing another man on Gladstone Road or Carlton Road or the altercation taking place between the pair on Carlton Road, who may have dash-cam footage or information".

They were also seeking witnesses who saw "anyone acting suspiciously in front or rear yards of properties, particularly anyone wearing a dark coloured check shirt and shorts".

Police want anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers.

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