A ROBBER wished a young woman a happy New Year before attacking her and running off with her handbag and novelty wig.
The 22-year-old reveller was heading home along Crewe Road South in the early hours of New Year’s Day when she was approached by her attacker, who delivered the festive greeting before grabbing her by the hair.
The wig the woman was wearing fell off and the suspect grabbed both it and her small, silver handbag, which contained her keys and mobile phone.
The student, who had been returning home from Hogmanay celebrations, had been walking opposite the Western General Hospital near the entrance to Westwoods Health Club just after 1am when the attack happened.
Police said that, despite the time, the area was busy with traffic and are appealing for witnesses to come forward. The victim was not injured during the robbery but was left “distressed” by what happened.
A police spokesman said: “This was a particularly distressing incident for the victim, who fortunately was not injured.
“It was a totally unprovoked attack on an innocent young woman who had been heading home after enjoying a night out.
“This is quite a busy area and there would have been a lot of traffic around at that time.
“We would like to hear from anyone who may have witnessed this, and especially appeal to taxi drivers who may have been in the area and seen the suspect.”
The suspect is described as being a white man in his 20s, around 5ft 8ins, of normal build with short ginger hair.
He was wearing a white T-shirt and dark trousers and was last seen heading in the direction of Orchard Brae.
Inverleith Tory councillor Iain Whyte, who is also convenor of the Lothian and Borders Police Board, said this kind of crime was “unusual” for the area.
He said: “Any crime in that area is relatively rare so it’s unusual for something as serious as this to happen, but also it’s really quite disturbing.
“I certainly hope that the police are treating it with all seriousness, and anyone that can help find the perpetrator will be giving them as much help as they can.”
Meanwhile, a 54-year-old woman was assaulted and robbed later on New Year’s night in Newhaven by two young men, one of whom was on a BMX-style bike.
The attack happened as the woman was standing at the bus stop outside the Harbour Inn on Pier Place at 10pm.
She was pushed to the ground after the two youths grabbed her gold coloured handbag and Tesco bag-for-life carrier bag.
They were last seen heading towards Andrew Wood Court and some of the woman’s belongings were later recovered in the area around Craighall Road and Newhaven Main Street.
The two men are both described as being white, aged between 18 and 22, between 5ft 5ins and 5ft 8ins and skinny.
The first one, who was riding the bike, was wearing a dark hooded top and jogging bottoms.
His accomplice was wearing a dark beanie style hat, hooded top and jogging bottoms.