Four people claim to own a croc found roaming Melbourne streets on Christmas day - but there's doubts they're telling the truth.
Snake hunter Mark Pelley says would-be owners of the metre-long runaway reptile came out of the woodwork after police requested he remove it from a Heidelberg Heights front yard on Christmas Day.
"I'm not inclined to believe any of them though because they all were saying 'no need to get the authorities involved' and they all said they could take it off my hands straight away," Mr Pelley told AAP on Wednesday.
It is legal to keep a crocodile as a pet in Victoria if you have a licence and in some circles they're considered a status symbol, Mr Pelley said.
"They're worth a lot of money so I can see why they'd give it a shot."
Mr Pelley has been catching snakes for years and said he's been waiting for the call that came through on Christmas Day.
"It was all my Christmases at once."
Mr Pelley will now hand the reptile over to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.
Anyone who wants to stake a claim will have to prove they are the croc's rightful owner, a department spokesperson said.
Where the creature came from remains a mystery.