DETECTIVES are hunting a “callous” bag-snatching yob who hauled a terrified granny down a flight of steps.
The 81-year-old suffered arm and shoulder injuries after being robbed during the short walk she makes near her home every day.
The thug struck as the woman started climbing a footbridge on Hailesland Road to get to the nearby Westside Plaza shopping centre.
The lout, aged 16 or 17, grabbed at her bag and hauled her backwards down a number of steps. She was left “shocked and dazed” following the attack, which took place at 7pm on Wednesday.
Age Scotland has branded the mugging as “appalling” as the victim continues to be treated in hospital following the assault.
Detective Inspector Dave Pinkney of Lothian & Borders Police said: “She had walked along the roadway and was crossing the bridge when she felt a tug at her bag. She was then dragged down the stairs by the suspect in what was a quite horrific attack.
“The man ran off and was pursued by a member of the public who was passing by. Unfortunately, the suspect was lost to sight.
“Another member of the public who was with his daughter helped the lady up and flagged down a passing police car. We’re still looking to trace this Good Samaritan.
“The lady was taken to the ERI with a shoulder injury.
“The attacker carried out a callous act and gave no thought to the age of the victim or the consequences of his actions. We’re determined to catch him as soon possible.”
DI Pinkney added: “We’re not linking this to any other incidents at this time.”
The draw-string bag contained the pensioner’s handbag, which held a small amount of cash and bank cards.
Jean McKinnon, 68, a retired cleaner, also lives in the area and uses the bridge regularly. She said: “It’s terrible that this has happened. Older people don’t feel safe walking around here, especially when it’s dark.
“There’s a lot of people on drugs wanting money so you’re always a bit worried. I try to avoid walking at night and this has made me more worried about it.”
A spokesman for Age Scotland said: “This is an appalling crime with no thought to the potential consequences. ”
Police have been attempting to crack down on antisocial behaviour at Westside Plaza.