A motorcycle belonging to the victim of a hit-run. Picture: Mark Stewart
A motorcycle belonging to the victim of a hit-run. Picture: Mark Stewart

Teens arrested over Mitcham hit-run

TWO teenagers have been arrested over the hit-run death of a motorcyclist in Mitcham.

A 17-year-old was arrested last night at a house in Mooroolbark. He is known to police.

Keith Stevens has been remembered as a good friend and father. Picture: Supplied
Keith Stevens has been remembered as a good friend and father. Picture: Supplied

The Herald Sun understands police will allege he was the driver of the car.

Another teen, 18, was arrested in Seaford.

Critical Incident Response Team police raided addresses after police monitored the teens movements as they drove in the southeastern suburbs.

Police are still looking for two others believed to have been involved in the incident.

Keith Stevens died after being dragged under a stolen BMW in a hit-run.

His family remembered him as a good friend and father and "gentle giant".

The 33-year-old suffered horrific injuries including burns to more than half his body when the stolen car ploughed through a giveaway sign in Mitcham.

Mr Stevens was a father to a young teen boy and had moved over from Scotland more than a decade ago with his then wife.

His family made a heartfelt thanks to the bystanders who rushed to help him after the crash.

Mum Kathryn Simpson wrote of her "broken heart" at news of her beloved son's death.

"Keith was a loving father, partner and son," the family said in a statement.

"Born in Scotland he called Australia home. His death is being felt by the lives he touched around the world.

"Keith was our gentle giant and he leaves behind shocked friends and family.

"We would like to thank the caring people who tried to help Keith and Victoria Police for all of their support."

Friends in Melbourne and overseas took to social media to express their shock.

"The good ones get taken too soon," Ross Allan wrote.

The Herald Sun understands the teens responsible for the hit-run were on Thursday night spotted at a number of places, including petrol stations in the southeastern suburbs.

Police know the identity of some of the people connected to Wednesday night's crime spree.

The group was on the run after the hit-run at the intersection of Glenburnie Rd and Orient Ave in Mitcham.

A BMW believed to have been used in a hit-run in Mitcham is loaded onto a trailer. Picture: Mark Stewart
A BMW believed to have been used in a hit-run in Mitcham is loaded onto a trailer. Picture: Mark Stewart

They then dumped the stolen BMW - which had been taken in a home invasion a month ago - before climbing fences near EastLink in Scoresby.

CCTV showed the youths fleeing in a family's Toyota which was later found burnt-out in Narre Warren.

Detective Inspector Stuart McGregor said the group played "a game" of stealing cars and driving fast.

Terrified residents of nearby Haideh Place told how the youths tried to fight them and force their way into homes before using a crow bar to rip open a door and steal car keys.

Parents Kerryn and John have told how they feared for their daughter after discovering armed car thief thugs had prowled through their Scoresby home.

"You don't think it can happen to you," Kerryn said.

"I am sickened by this ... but we're the lucky ones, really, and I just can't imagine how the family of that motorcyclist is feeling.

"They are ruthless."

The couple was working at the back of the Haideh Place property while their 21-year-old daughter was in her room.

A BMW believed to have been used in a hit-run in Mitcham is removed from EastLink. Picture: Mark Stewart
A BMW believed to have been used in a hit-run in Mitcham is removed from EastLink. Picture: Mark Stewart

Kerryn said she walked out the front of the home and froze in panic when she noticed the damaged door.

"As a mum, your first thought is your children," Kerryn said.

"I just crawled through the door and screamed out to my husband and called the police, I had no idea whether there was someone in the house, in my daughter's room."

The offenders had already fled in the couple's car after pinching the keys from a table near their front door.

Another Scoresby resident, Sue, held the door closed to stop the gang breaking into her Scoresby home.

Scoresby resident Sue fended off attackers at her door. Picture: Mark Stewart
Scoresby resident Sue fended off attackers at her door. Picture: Mark Stewart

The mum said she ran to the door after hearing her neighbour yell out.

"I was holding the door shut and screaming as they tried to get in," she said.

"My hand is bruised from holding the door ... I don't know where it came from. As a mum I just had to make sure they couldn't get in.

"I made as much noise as possible and they took off down the street."

The motorcyclist was taken to hospital in a critical condition. Picture: Channel 9
The motorcyclist was taken to hospital in a critical condition. Picture: Channel 9

"They broke the lock trying to kick the door down."

Bob, another Haideh Place resident, said the whole street ran into their front yards when they heard the noise.

"It looks like they've jumped over the fence at EastLink, run through the nature strip and then jumped over into our street looking for a car," he said.

"The first home they landed on had no cars in the driveway so they tried for the neighbours and didn't have any luck."

Police say the BMW did not stop and “fled the scene”. Picture: Channel 9
Police say the BMW did not stop and “fled the scene”. Picture: Channel 9

The Mitcham collision is the second hit-run in Melbourne's suburbs in the space of four days.

Major Collision Investigation Unit detectives are keen to speak to any witnesses that may have seen the black X5 BMW in the Mitcham or Scoresby areas.

Anyone with information or anyone with dash cam footage is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit an anonymous report at crimestoppersvic.com.au

mark.buttler@news.com.au



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