Police are continuing the search for a man believed to be armed with a gun, who forced streets to be shut down in Melbourne’s west.
A vehicle, believed to be stolen and driven by the man this morning, was seized by police near a Tottenham business on Friday afternoon.
Police believe there is no immediate threat to the public and have interviewed a number of witnesses.
The man is aged in his 30s. He has moderately long hair and is wearing industrial clothing.
Streets were blocked off in Tottenham and the dog squad and airwing were called in following a report that the armed man was attempting to steal copper from a business in Olympia Street around 9.30am.
The man was confronted by staff and there was an altercation before he ran off.
Witnesses said that a blue ute with a trailer entered the 68-acre industrial area owned by copper manufacturer Olex Cables about 6.30am.
An Olex employee said it was identified as suspicious because it did not appear in the log book.
The ute then left and a maintenance manager notified security that if it returned, they were to lock the gate.
When the ute reappeared close to a warehouse about 9.30am, a maintenance manager and warehouse manager drove two forklifts behind it to trap the ute between drums of wound up copper wire, some as high as 3.2 metres.
There was a tussle as the men dragged the man out the car as he screamed to be let go.
The Olex maintenance manager may have suffered a broken finger in the process.
As the man was wrestled to the ground, the two managers noticed a shiny handle of what they believed was a gun and quickly left.
The man then fled though the copper drums.Special Operations Group police arrived shortly after and began searching with guns drawn through hundreds of large copper drums.
The dog squad was also on site.The police helicopter was called and last spotted the fugitive about 150 metres west of the industrial estate.
During the search, a forklift driver sitting in his car was reportedly mistaken as the armed man and ambushed by police.
“One of them has pointed the gun at me, and four or five of the other ones are standing there with their machine guns pointing to the ground,” 25-year-old Jason Toth said.
“I was very scared at the time, to be honest.”
An Olex employee said it was common for people to attempt to steal the large amounts of copper kept on site, with about six burglaries in the past 18 months.
About 250 people usually work on the site, but only about 60 were working today because of the Christmas break.
Police urge anyone with information about the incident or who saw the man to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
With Kristian Silva and AAP