MELBOURNE – A man has doused a woman in flammable liquid and threatened to set her ablaze in a Melbourne mugging.

The woman was attacked in the car park behind the Chinese restaurant she owns on Main Street in Mornington, south of Melbourne, about 10pm Monday.

The 53-year-old was walking to her car when a man approached from behind, pouring the liquid over her head and body.

He then threatened her with a cigarette lighter and demanded cash.

The woman pushed the man and tried to flee but was punched to the ground from behind.

Police said the man snatched her bag and fled down a nearby lane.

A blue car was spotted speeding from the scene a short time later.

Detective Senior Sergeant Michael Lamb described the robber as desperate and dangerous.

”It’s worrying that someone out there is so desperate that they’re prepared to go to these lengths to rob someone,” he said.

”All it would’ve taken is a spark, or a point of ignition.

”In my 25 years of what I’ve been doing, I’ve not seen an attack like this.”

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