A man allegedly attempted to grab the arm of a 10-year-old boy in Morwell on Thursday.
The man allegedly approached the boy and his younger brother as they rode their bikes on Maude Street about 5pm.
The 10-year-old told his brother to run home after noticing the man's strange behaviour.
The man then allegedly put on a face mask and attempted to grab the 10-year-old's arm, but the boy managed to pull away before the man touched him.
The man then retreated to his car, parked on Grant Street, and drove away.
The boy ran home, telling his mother, then police about the incident.
Latrobe Crime Investigation Unit detectives are investigating.
Police are searching for an older model dark grey or black 4WD utility with peeling paint.
The utility had tarpaulins and tools in the back, and blew smoke out the exhaust as it drove away.
The man is believed to be Caucasian, 183cm tall, with a thin build, pale skin and short red/ginger hair.
He was wearing dark clothing and a black ski or hunting-style mask.
Detectives urge any witnesses or anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report online at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au.