A THUG stole a £4000 camera from a photographer taking pictures in Holyrood Park after threatening to set his bull terrier dog on the terrified victim.
The 35-year-old man was walking up Arthur’s Seat towards Duddingston when he was confronted by the dog owner.
Police said the victim was left “understandably shaken” after being robbed while taking panoramic photographs of the city.
The hold-up using the animal was today branded “absolutely deplorable” as officers continued to hunt for the suspect.
The victim had parked his car in Queen’s Drive before making the ascent up the hill at around 9pm on Thursday.
He was approached by a man with a white bull terrier-type dog, who threatened to set the animal on him if he did not hand over his property.
The victim was forced to surrender all of his equipment, worth approximately £4000, as well as his mobile phone.
The suspect is described as white, mid-30s, 6ft tall, broad shouldered, with a Scottish accent. He was wearing a dark hooded top with the hood up, and dark waterproof jacket and trousers.
Detective Inspector John Kavanagh, from Police Scotland, said: “While the victim wasn’t injured in any way, he is understandably shaken as a result of this incident, and we are keen for any information that can help us identify the suspect and locate the stolen equipment.
“Anyone who was in the area of Holyrood Park on Thursday night, who either witnessed the incident or who saw the suspect with his white bull terrier-type dog, should contact the police.
“Likewise, anyone who recognises his description, or who has any other information that can assist our inquiries, should also get in touch.” Local councillor Alex Lunn said: “Holyrood Park is great resource for the whole city which everyone should be free to enjoy in peace and security.
“I absolutely deplore the actions of the person responsible, just as I deplore anyone who trains their dog to act in an aggressive manner.
“There is an issue in places like Craigmillar and Piershill with people who have these types of dogs who are not suitable to own such an animal.
“The police must come down hard on this person and anyone else who uses a dog to act aggressively. Holyrood Park must remain a place that people can visit in safety.” In December last year, a two-year-old was bitten on the face by a Staffordshire Bull Terrier in Castlepark Green, Craigmillar. The dog had to be dragged off the girl by a passer-by after launching an attack in a playpark.
Police figures showed that 57 owners in Lothian and Borders were reported to the procurator fiscal between April 2010 and March 2011 under the Dangerous Dogs Act, with bite victims as young as two years old.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101, or make an anonymous report through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.