POLICE are hunting a heartless pickpocket who stole a gold ring from a pensioner’s finger in a brazen daylight robbery in Leith.
The 79-year-old man was targeted by a sneak thief on Monday who offered to sell him jewellery and thrust items into his hands before using sleight of hand to slip the diamond-encrusted ring off his finger.
A short time later he realised the ring – a precious family heirloom – was missing.
The swindler had drawn alongside her victim in Portland Street at around 12.30pm before launching into the scam.
The hustle came just 48 hours after another pensioner was fleeced by two women who targeted him at his Liberton home.
Monday’s incident in Leith was said to be carried out by a dark-skinned woman described as being plump and aged between 30 and 40 years old.
She got out of a red-coloured saloon car containing several other people, described only as dark-skinned.
In August, the News told how a robber pounced on a pensioner in Bonnington Road, Leith, and thrust gold rings on to his fingers before making off with his chunky gold medallion.
Police today said they were keeping “an open mind” about whether the two incidents were linked, and urged anyone with information to come forward.
A police spokesman said: “This was a cynical distraction theft carried out on an elderly man, who has lost an item of great personal value that had been in his family for many years. Anyone approached in a similar way or who noticed a red-coloured saloon car being driven around Leith on Monday should get in touch.”
Meanwhile, on Saturday a 78-year-old man was robbed and hit at his house in Gordon Court, Liberton, when two women rang his doorbell before attempting to gain entry at around 1.10pm.
After being initially blocked, they managed to force their way inside, stealing a sum of money and hitting the man while they fled.
Officers are now urgently trying to trace the duo.
The first suspect is described as being white, medium build, around 40 years old and 5ft 6in tall. She had dark hair tied back into a ponytail, and was wearing jeans and a dark blue hooded jumper.
The second suspect was described as being female and wearing a denim jacket.