DETECTIVES are hunting a mugger who may have tailed an 89-year-old man from a bank to his care home before trying to rob him in a daylight attack.
The pensioner had caught a bus from his care home in Chalmers Crescent in the Grange to visit the Santander branch in Newington Road.
Officers believe the suspect may have spotted the victim, who walks with the aid of a stick, at the bank and followed him onto a number five bus returning to the Grange from Salisbury Place.
After getting off the bus on Grange Road at 10.10am, the elderly man was approached from behind as he walked beside the junction with Chalmers Crescent.
The mugger grabbed him by the face and tried to rob him of his possessions but he found the victim, who had only been checking his account at the bank, had no cash or valuables.
The elderly man, who was left “extremely shaken” by his ordeal, managed to make it back to his care home and alert police.
Detective Constable John McShane said the possibility that the victim had been tailed back from the bank on the bus was a “line of enquiry”.
He said: “We believe the suspect had also been on the bus, having boarded at the same time as the elderly man and would urge other passengers who may have seen him, or who can assist establish his identity to contact police immediately.
“It would seem obvious that this gentleman has been targeted because of his age. It’s a horrible crime.”
The victim had caught a bus back from the bank at Salisbury Place and got off at Grange Road at around 10.10am on Saturday. Moments later the attacker struck.
The suspect is described as white, between 45 and 55 years old, around 5ft 10in tall with a heavy build and grey hair. He was wearing a dark jacket, black baseball cap, blue jeans and dark shoes.
DC McShane added: “Al-though he was not seriously injured, this was a frightening ordeal for the victim who was understandably extremely shaken by what has happened.
“Chalmers Crescent is quite a quiet street with large houses which are set back from the road. That may have been why the suspect carried out the attempted robbery there.”
Operation Arable was launched in the wake of soaring numbers of assault and robberies in the city. The crackdown was cited as a “major blow” to criminals following a 30 per cent drop in street muggings in the Capital over the summer.
Councillor Ian Perry, whose Southside/Newington ward includes The Grange, said: “I wholeheartedly condemn this crime against an old and defenceless man.
“It does show how vigilant people have to be with these kind of nefarious characters going about.
“Fortunately such an incident is fairly isolated in the Grange area but that does not make it any less reprehensible.”