A WOMAN had her mobile phone snatched by a gang of eight teenagers on Princes Street while she was in the middle of a call.
The incident came just hours after an elderly barman was robbed of £2000 in another mugging.
The 42-year-old woman was walking west towards Rose Street at around 8.20pm on Monday and had just passed Princes Mall when the gang pounced.
She was shoved in the back causing her to stumble, and had the phone snatched from her hand by the youths aged around 15 in what has been described as an “absolutely brazen” theft.
The incident came after a 70-year-old man, who works at a pub in Restalrig Road, was set upon as he walked a few hundred yards to deposit the bar’s weekend takings at a post office.
The victim had been making the short journey to the nearby Premier Store when he was assaulted and robbed at around 10.20am.
Police today appealed for any witnesses to both robberies to come forward.
After being robbed of her phone, the woman saw a group of around eight male youths run past her and make off up West Register Street. Three women came to assist the victim.
The suspects are all described as being white and around 15 years old. They were all wearing tracksuit bottoms and hooded tops of varied colours. A police spokesman said: “Fortunately, the woman was not injured as a result of this incident.
“Nevertheless, she was left very distressed and we are keen to hear from members of the public who were on Princes Street at the time and who can assist with our inquiries.”
Lib Dem councillor Charles Dundas, who represents the city centre ward, said: “This was absolutely brazen and I’m amazed that it could happen on Princes Street.
“But I’m also pleased that these kind of incidents are so rare. Many other cities may see such an incident as relatively commonplace.”
In the second robbery, the elderly man was pulled to the ground on the bridge near Thompson’s Gym and had his pockets rifled for the cash before the thugs made off. Detective Constable Bob Richardson, from Gayfield Square police station, said: “The victim was walking along Restalrig Road to deposit the weekend takings as he was always did on a Monday morning.
“He was crossing the bridge over the old railway tracks when two men approached him. The first suspect grabbed him and they both ended up struggling on the ground.
“The two suspects went down the steps from the bridge and along the path towards Seafield.”
The suspects are both described as being white, between 18 to 20 years old. One of them was around 5ft 8in tall, slim to medium build with short cropped fair hair. He was wearing a plain grey hooded top with the hood up and possibly jeans.
The other man was around 5ft tall, and of slim build. He was wearing a dark navy hooded top with the hood up with dark jeans and dark trainers.
DC Richardson added: “We are appealing to anyone who witnessed this incident, or knows who was involved, to come forward.”