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Police are appealing for witnesses following a robbery in the South East of the city which happened just after 9pm on Tuesday 8th January outside the Gilmerton Library in Newtoft Street.

A 79-year-old woman was walking from Drum Street on to Newtoft street towards the bus stop when three male youths approached and snatched her handbag.

The suspects were then seen to throw the bag over a wall into the grounds of the Blossom Tree Nursery and make off onto Drum Street.

The victim approached two members of the public to alert them to what happened and one retrieved her handbag. It was established that nothing had been taken from the bag.

Inquiries are now underway to identify those responsible and anyone with information is asked to come forward. The suspects are described only as wearing dark clothing with their hoods up. Detective Constable Gavin Howat from the Violence Reduction Unit at Gayfield Police Station said: “The victim sustained a minor shoulder injury during the struggle but did not require any medical attention. Nevertheless, this was a very distressing incident for her and we’re eager to hear from anyone who can help us trace the culprits.

“This robbery is being progressed as part of Operation Arable and anyone who remembers seeing any suspicious activity around the Newtoft Street area on Tuesday evening, should contact police immediately.

“Similarly, anyone with any further information relevant to this investigation is also urged to get in touch.”

Those with information can contact the VRU at Gayfield via 101 and quote incident number 3759 of the 8th January. Alternatively, an anonymous report can be made to the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.