Schoolboy robbed for phone on Union Canal towpath

The man targeted the pupils along the Union Canal path at Wester Hailes
The man targeted the pupils along the Union Canal path at Wester Hailes
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A SCHOOLBOY has been left “traumatised” after he was robbed on his way home in the first of two assaults in three days.

The 14-year-old was walking with a friend on the Union Canal towpath, near to the Wester Hailes Education Centre, at about 4.20pm on Sunday.

A man on a bicycle approached the pair and asked for the time. When the boy checked his phone, the man threatened him before stealing the phone and cycling off.

Two days later, a 16-year-old was walking along the rear of Sighthill Primary School, opposite Medwin House, when he was approached by a man who started talking to him.

He then pulled out a knife and threatened the teenager before demanding his phone and heading off towards Wester Hailes Road.

DC Marion Fraser, of Lothian and Borders Police, said they were nasty robberies which targeted the “young and vulnerable”.

She said: “They have both been left quite shaken up and I would say one of them has been traumatised by it. It’s not nice at all.

“These are two children and vulnerable members of our society. People like that are easy targets.

“Somebody has approached them and threatened them with violence. We want to catch that person to stop it from happening again.”

Police are investigating whether both these crimes are linked and have urged anyone who can assist with their inquiries to come forward.

In both incidents, the suspect is described as white, around 25 years old, average height with a slim build.

He had scars on his face and two small tattoos on his neck, possibly squares or Chinese symbols. He wore a hooded top and jogging bottoms.

DC Fraser said: “The description of the gentleman is very distinctive so I’m quite sure there are people out there that will know who did this.

“Anyone who remembers seeing any suspicious activity around either the canal towpath on Saturday, or the Calder Gardens area on Tuesday should contact police immediately.”

Those with information can contact Lothian and Borders Police on 101, or the charity Crimestoppers in complete anonymity on 0800 555 111.