Police in Glasgow have increased patrols after a gang of men of “Eastern European appearance” have carried out a number of muggings in a racially diverse area of the city.
Two robberies involving elderly residents took place in the Govanhill area on Wednesday 6 April - this follows on the from the mugging of a elderly female pensioner in the area a week before.
There have been reports of several more street muggings in the preceding weeks.
The area which is home to a large Roma community sits within the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s constituency ward of Glasgow Southside. Officers have described the suspects in the latest incidents as “despicable cowards.” It is not known if the incidents are linked.
A 73-year-old man was walking along Belleisle Street, when he was grabbed by a man who pushed him to the ground and made off with his wallet containing a small sum of cash at 6:45pm on Wednesday evening.
He did not require hospital treatment.
The suspect is described as of Eastern European appearance, dark skinned, in his late teens and was wearing a black leather jacket, grey hooded top and blue denims.
A second robbery occurred later that night at around 10:45pm. On this occasion an 86-year-old man sustained facial injuries when three men forced their way into his flat in Garturk Street, and stole a sum of money – all coins worth a two-figure sum.
He was taken by ambulance to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital where he is still detained. His condition has been decribed as stable.
The suspects are described as of Eastern European appearance, early 20s, one with short shaved in dark hair.
Chief Inspector Graham McInarlin, local area commander, said: “I fully recognise and understand the impact this has on the local community and in particular our elderly residents. The seriousness of these incidents is not lost on me and be re-assured that Police Scotland is treating these incidents head on.
“The men responsible for these robberies are nothing but cowards. They are despicable and deserve all that is coming to them and I am determined to catch them and put them behind bars.”