Terrifying moment five masked men surround a family home before one tries to trick the owner into opening his door by pretending to be a lost kid
Five men in hoodies, masks and gloves tried to trick a homeowner into letting them in so they could rob a house by pretending to be 'a random kid' and pleading for help.
Frightening security footage showed the group of thugs lurking around their target's house on a quiet street in Tarneit, in Melbourne's west, at 11pm on Tuesday.
When the leader knocked on the front door, the owner could be heard asking, 'Who's there?'
'I need help,' the man replied, without a sense of urgency.
'Who's there?' the owner asked again.
The would-be thief then changed his tactic and, in a deep voice, said: 'It's a random kid, I need help.'
'What?' the owner asked, clearly baffled by response.
'I need help,' the thug repeated.
The owner was not fooled by the charade and said, 'I'm calling the cops, mate.'
The hooded man backed away when he realised his plan wouldn't work.
But other footage showed the group emerge from the shadows from across the road an hour later, at midnight.
They carefully crept around the house again - one man attempting to hide by ducking behind a garden wall - before running off together moments later.
According to a local Facebook group, the incident was reported to police.
Victoria Police were unable to comment when contacted by Daily Mail Australia.
The video was shared on social media to warn others in the small suburb to be on alert.
'Good on you for not opening the door,' one user commented. 'Very smart.'
'Omg this is so scary it's always important to lock the doors,' another wrote.
But others laughed at the gutless hooded man's attempt at tricking someone into thinking he was a child.
'World's worst actor. "I need help" in the flattest, non-urgent voice ever. Yeah, good work, cuz,' one man wrote.
'Seriously, "it's a random kid" comment. Okay, let me not open the door,' another laughed.