AN elderly couple were attacked by a polite mugger who said “hello” before pouncing on them minutes after they had left a bowling club Christmas party.
The 71-year-old man suffered a cut to his face after being pulled to the ground while attempting to stop his wife’s handbag from being snatched.
His 68-year-old wife refused to release her bag during the struggle in Davidson’s Mains in the early hours of Sunday morning.
The bag strap finally broke, spilling her purse to the pavement, which the mugger grabbed and fled from the scene.
The couple, who are both retired, did not require medical treatment, but were left shocked by the attack.
The mugger had approached them shortly after they left a function at the Maitland Bowling Club, greeting them with “hello” as he passed before doubling back and seizing the bag.
Police said they were not linking the robbery in Main Street to any other incidents, and appealed for witnesses to come forward.
Last Wednesday, a mugger snatched a 75-year-old woman’s handbag and forced her to the ground as she walked to Thomas Chalmers Parish Church Centre in Kirkliston.
Lord Provost George Grubb, whose council ward covers Davidson’s Mains, said: “It’s always a lot worse when these things happen at this time of year. People are more relaxed and friendly, and don’t anticipate it happening to them, so I’m sure this couple here have been shaken up.
“It’s shocking that this could happen and I would hope anyone with information contacts police.”
Detective Sergeant Grant Johnston, who is leading the inquiry, said: “The couple had just left the bowling club and were walking home at around 1.50am on Sunday.
“They came across a male in the street who walked past and said ‘hello’ before grabbing the lady’s bag. He tried to yank it from her grasp and the purse fell out.
“Her husband had tried to hold on to the bag and he was either knocked to the ground or lost his balance in the struggle. He suffered a cut to his face but didn’t need medical treatment.
“The bag contained cash and credit cards.”
The suspect is described as white, 20 to 30 years old, 6ft to 6ft 2in, slim with a pale complexion. He was wearing a light-coloured woollen hat with earflaps at the side and spoke with a local accent.
Officers are now checking CCTV from the area in a bid to identify the suspect.
DS Johnston added: “The street was fairly quiet at the time but there may have been passing traffic who could have been in the area. Someone may also have spotted this man hanging around before this incident.”