Bag-snatching rider targets elderly

By Cam Lucadou-Wells

A Noble Park man is accused of snatching elderly women’s handbags as he rode unlicensed aboard a scooter in a Dandenong Plaza car park.

Ali Ramazan, 23, sought a sentencing indication at Dandenong Magistrates’ Court on 27 April on a string of charges including two ride-away thefts and an aggravated burglary while on bail.

In the first theft, Ramazan allegedly rode up to a 73-year-old pushing a shopping trolley and snatched her bag in the McCrae Street car park on 21 August.

According to police, the victim fell to the ground as she tried to grab Ramazan, who fled the scene with her handbag and the $1000 cash inside.

She was not seriously injured.

Three days later, Ramazan and a pillion passenger allegedly targeted a 70-year-old in the same car park, police told the court.

Ramazan snatched the bag with $40 cash and bank cards from her walker as they rode past, police claimed.

The scooter ran a red light at Walker and McCrae streets, rode into Palm Plaza and ran another red light at Walker and Lonsdale streets as the pair fled towards Doveton.

Ramazan was arrested the next day on a scooter, police seizing $127 cash and a quantity of meth. In the scooter’s compartment were bank cards and house keys belonging to the second victim, police told the court.

Ramazan was accused of stealing from two cars after his arrest, including a parked car in Lois Lane, Dandenong, in October.

While on bail, he was accused of breaking into a Noble Park house while an occupant was asleep on the morning of 2 December, stealing a laptop and a wallet with bank cards and $80.

That day, he allegedly used a stolen bank card to buy scratch cards and cigarettes from a lotto agency, as well as $40 of booze from a bottle shop.

He was also accused of breaking into a car and stealing a purse in Thomas Street on 23 February.

The following day, he allegedly used a bank card from the purse to buy more than $360 of goods, mainly cigarettes, from a 7-11, a Coles Express and a United servo.

Ramazan, through an interpreter, told the court he was very “regretful”. Drugs had made him do things he wouldn’t otherwise do.

As an addict, he’d made his mother cry for the past six years, he told the court via a video link from Ravenhall prison.

“I want her to be happy again. I miss my siblings as well.”

A defence lawyer said the unemployed Afghan refugee’s offending was tied to drug addiction.

He was willing to get back in the workforce, get rehab and repair “strained” family relationships.

“Mr Ramazan wants to change the course of his life,” the lawyer said.

Magistrate Suzette Dootjes indicated she’d sentence Ramazan to a combination of jail and a treatment-based CCO – if he was assessed as suitable.

She said the alleged targeted of elderly women was especially serious and concerning.

It was lucky that the victims weren’t more seriously injured, she noted.

Pending a Corrections CCO assessment, Ramazan was remanded for sentencing at Dandenong Magistrates’ Court on 14 May.