A ROBBER held an 18-month-old girl up by the hood of her jacket as he ransacked her pram in a terrifying daylight attack.
The callous thief pounced as the girl’s mum walked her and her three-year-old brother home from nursery along an isolated footpath.
The 32-year-old mother struggled with the suspect before he fled.
She had refused to hand over cash when the thief grabbed the child by the jacket hood and yanked her up before letting her fall into the buggy after his unsuccessful search.
Police have deployed extra patrols in the Dedridge area of Livingston following the incident. Detectives today appealed for help in identifying the thief, described as having “bad teeth” and a Glaswegian accent, whom officers believe lives locally.
West Lothian Council leader John McGinty branded the attack, which took place at 12.15pm on Tuesday, as “appalling” and urged any witnesses to come forward.
Detective Sergeant Stephen Morris, who is leading the inquiry, said: “This has been a terrible experience for this young mother and her children and while no-one was injured, she has been left understandably shaken as a result.
“The victim had been walking near James Young High School, near Quentin Rise. She was heading west from the high school area.
“The footpath became quite isolated and remote not far from the school, with more woodlands.
“The mother was grabbed from behind by a man who demanded money saying, ‘Give me what you’ve got’. The woman refused to give him anything and the man has then pulled the baby girl from the buggy by the hood of her jacket. He’s rooted around in the buggy for anything to steal before dropping the girl back down.
“The mother managed to fight him off and run away to her home.
“It would be shocking for any parent to see their child being handled in this way. This person has shown a total disregard for the welfare and safety of this child. It’s been a horrendous ordeal for the mother.”
The suspect is described as being white, in his late teens to early 20s, 5ft 6in tall, of stocky build with bad teeth. He was wearing a dark blue hooded top, with the hood pulled tight, and grey jogging bottoms.
Det Sgt Morris said police believed it may have been an opportunistic attack.
“He appears to have shown a knowledge of the local area so we believe he may be local. Someone will know who this person is and we would appeal to anyone who can identify him to contact police.”
Officers are reviewing CCTV cameras from the area in a bid to identify the culprit.
Councillor McGinty said: “This is an appalling incident and I certainly hope that the police catch this individual as soon as possible.”