Jewel thief smacks pensioner in face

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POLICE are on the hunt for a robber who punched a pensioner in the face before making off with a haul of prized jewellery.

The thief swiped several thousand pounds’ worth of sapphire and diamond jewels after breaking into an address on Lygon Road, Newington, on Sunday.

A 79-year-old man and his 80-year-old wife returned to the property at 7.30pm and were startled to find a man inside, coming down their stairs.

The crook ran past the terrified homeowners and punched the elderly man in the face before making off in the direction of Craigmillar Park.

Police were contacted and have been conducting extensive inquiries to establish what was taken and identify the individual responsible.

A large quantity of sapphire and diamond jewellery was stolen from the house and detectives are now keen to hear from anyone who can assist with their investigation.

The suspect is described as white, in his late 20s to mid 30s, and was of average height with a slim build and pale complexion. He was wearing dark clothing.

Southside and Newington councillor Jim Orr said: “I’m appalled to hear of this incident, especially such physical violence towards a defenceless old man. In the Southside and Newington, incidents such as these are rare which makes this even more shocking.

“I will be raising the matter with police and I urge local residents who may have seen anything suspicious to get in touch with officers.”

Detective Constable John McShane said: “Not only were the elderly couple extremely distressed to find an intruder within their home, they have been deeply upset at the theft of their jewellery, which is of great sentimental value.

“Anyone who remembers seeing anything suspicious in or around Lygon Road on Sunday evening is asked to contact police immediately.

“Similarly, anyone who recognises the description of the suspect, or who has information that can assist with our inquiries is asked to come forward.”

Those with information can call the police on 101, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.