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Victoria Police have launched an investigation after more than a dozen needles were found jammed in a train seat in Melbourne’s inner west on Tuesday.
A commuter, Anthony Artusa was travelling on the city loop service at Footscray station when he found “around 20 needles depressed into the seat” of the train.
“Upon sitting down, I felt a prick in the back of my upper leg region. I checked my pockets thinking I had left something in there,” Mr Artusa said.
“They were under the surface so I didn’t see them. Once I sat, they poked out.”
He warned travellers on twitter of the “lovely surprise” which he found shortly before 8am yesterday.
Authorities were placed on high alert following the nationwide needle saga in September last year when farmers were forced to dispose of tonnes of fruit after needles were found embedded in strawberries. A 50-year-old farmworker from Queensland was later charged.
Victoria Police and metro staff are today examining CCTV footage and have inspected the train where the needles were found in an attempt to identify the person responsible.
“This is a terrible act of vandalism and we are thankful that no one was injured,” A Metro Trains spokesman said.
“Transit Crime Investigation Unit detectives are investigating the matter and are urging anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers.”
Victoria Police said they were also alerted of a further needle tampering incident after a couple from Craigieburn allegedly found two small needles inside a bag of seedless grapes.
“The community is reminded that anyone found to be contaminating food products can be charged with a serious indictable offence with penalties including up to 10 years in jail,” a police spokesman said.
This article first appeared on www.theaustralian.com.au
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