A SHOPKEEPER was put in a headlock by a skinny, freckle-faced woman during a botched attempted robbery.
The 21-year-old man was alone in the RS McColl newsagents in West Maitland Street when he was attacked from behind by the woman who demanded money from him after she grabbed him by the head at around 1pm on Boxing Day.
The staff member managed to free himself after struggling with the woman.
However, a man who was with the would-be robber, and who was believed to have been keeping watch outside the store, then stormed in and punched the shocked worker in the face.
Following the incident, the suspects fled the store empty-handed and made off towards Haymarket.
The staff member, who returned to work the next day, was not hurt in the attack.
However, police today admitted he was left badly “shaken” as a result of the ordeal.
A spokesman for Lothian and Borders Police urged anyone who knows anything about the attackers to come forward.
He said: “Given the time of day this incident occurred and the high volume of people shopping in the city centre on Boxing Day, there were potentially a number of witnesses, who may have seen the suspects flee the store. Anyone who recognises their description, or can assist officers in identifying them, is asked to contact police immediately.”
The woman is white, between 35 and 40 years old, 5ft 9ins tall with a skinny build and freckled face. She was wearing a dark top, light-coloured hat, dark grey trousers and white shoes.
The man she was with is white, between 30 and 40 years old, 5ft 11ins tall with a medium to stocky build. He was wearing a black and white top, dark trousers, dark footwear and had a green and white scarf covering his face.
Staff in the store yesterday said they were unable to comment on the incident and said all inquiries should be directed to head office.
However, the press department at RS McColl is closed for the holidays and could not be reached.
Anyone with information should contact police on 0131-311 3131.