DETECTIVES have released CCTV pictures of thugs they are hunting in connection with two attempted robberies in the Capital.
The images were released as part of Operation Arable – a crackdown launched by police following a spike in muggings in Edinburgh.
The first incident took place at around 11am on October 4 last year when two males, one brandishing a Stanley knife, tried to rob the post office in Milton Road West.
Officers have described one of the men as white, six feet tall, of slim build and with medium-length blond hair and a narrow face. He was wearing a dark blue hoodie, dark tracksuit bottoms and white trainers.
The second man is described as white, five feet five inches tall and of medium-to-heavy build. He was wearing a cream-coloured parka jacket and dark tracksuit bottoms with lettering on the knee. He was also carrying a small rucksack, and was wearing purple surgical gloves.
A post office counter clerk, who did not want to be named, said at the time: “I was serving an elderly gentleman and the next thing I knew, two guys came in, pushed the old man out the way, and one of them climbed over the counter beside me. I just panicked and went into the room where the safe was, locked the door and pressed the panic button.”
The robbery attempt was unsuccessful and the pair then escaped on foot up Durham Road South, past the medical centre on Mountcastle Drive, and on towards Bingham Drive and the Bingham tunnel.
The second incident happened at around 6.05pm on May 22 last year.
The 25-year-old victim was walking in London Street at the corner of Drummond Place when she passed a group of youths. She was then approached from behind by two of them, with one grabbing her handbag and attempting to pull it from her.
The victim managed to keep a hold of the bag, and the youths ran off.
The two males in the images are both described as between 17 and 18 years old, and around five feet seven inches tall. One has light brown hair, and is wearing a hooded top with grey jogging bottoms. The other has blond hair, and is wearing a dark polo shirt.
A Lothian and Borders Police spokesman said: “We want anyone who recognises the individuals featured in the CCTV images to contact us immediately. Likewise, anyone else who has any other information that can assist our inquiries should also get in touch.”
Operation Arable was launched by police after figures showed there were 280 street robberies in the city last year – an increase of 19 per cent on the previous year’s total of 235.
As well as releasing CCTV footage, officers have launched dedicated patrols on Thursday, Friday and Saturday – the days which usually see street robberies rise.
Anyone with information on the individuals in the pictures should contact Lothian and Borders Police on 0131- 311 3131, or Crimestoppers in confidence and anonymity on 0800 555 111.