Police have been blasted online for publishing a photo of a woman wanted for allegedly keeping $50 she found on a post office floor.
Mooney Valley Crime Investigation Unit took to Facebook on Thursday to get public assistance identifying a woman accused of pocketing the cash in Strathmore, Melbourne, on December 19.
'Investigators believe a man attended a post office on Napier Street when he dropped a $50 dollar note without noticing about 10.15am,' the post read.
Mooney Valley Crime Investigation Unit have been slammed online for trying to track down a woman who kept $50 she found on the floor (pictured: image posted by police)
'A short time later, a woman entered the post office and picked up the note and put it into her handbag.'
But the notice outraged hundreds of commentators who were shocked police were exerting effort to find a woman who allegedly committed a 'trivial' act.
'This is disgraceful! The damage to this woman’s reputation for "picking up" a $50 note is so unjust. Many people would not consider this a crime,' one person wrote.
'She found it on the floor? I too would not expect this to be a crime. If she didn’t see who dropped it, who should she return it too? I hope this woman is saved from grace and not found, pursued and identified,' a second comment read.
'Ruin a woman's reputation over something any other person including a cop would do. What a waste of resources. You've actually had a police officer go down to obtain the footage wasting our tax payer money over something so trivial,' another added.
The woman picked up an unattended $50 note off the floor of Strathmore post office (pictured) in December
'The officer in charge of organising this should be ashamed.'
'Seriously?! How was she to know who it belonged to. I reckon 99% of people would've done the same, possibly even the post office workers. She pockets $50 and is now a wanted person yet more serious crimes happen and nothing is done about it,' one woman wrote.
Others responded to the public plea with sarcasm.
'Good work Vicpol! I for one will not be leaving the house while this monster is on the loose. Please update once you have her safely behind bars so I can venture outside again without fear,' one person wrote.
Another wrote: 'Yes please arrest and capture a lady who found $50 on the ground and picked it up. I'll feel safe at night.'
In Victora, a person can be charged with theft under section 74 of the Crimes Act 1958 if he or she accidentally come across something belonging to another and then keeps it or deals with it as if he or she is the owner.
The penalty is up to ten years imprisonment.
Similar laws with tough penalties apply for keeping lost property in all Australian states.
Outraged social media users felt publishing her photo was a harsh measure for the alleged crime
Others were shocked police were exerting effort to locate someone for what they believe to be a 'petty' offence