TWO women have been attacked in separate terrifying incidents, with police believing they may be linked.
Both incidents happened within the space of a week on remote land near the Fort Kinnaird shopping complex.
Incredibly, one of the victims – a 50-year-old woman – managed to fend off both her would-be robbers by slapping one and burning the other with a cigarette.
The second victim, however, was not so lucky and found herself subjected to a brutal ordeal in a dimly lit underpass, which detectives admit had left her “understandably shaken”.
A police spokesman said: “We are appealing for witnesses to both incidents, which happened within the same path network.”
The first attack took place at about 5.15pm on Sunday, December 9 after the victim, who had been visiting family in Newcraighall, was returning home to Magdalene.
She was walking along the rear footpath of Fort Kinnaird and on to Magdalane Glen when the pair approached and attempted to steal her bag.
Investigating officer DC John McShane said: “The pair tried to grab her but she turned around and burnt one of them on the hand with a cigarette and slapped the other man in the face.”
On Wednesday, December 12 the second victim was attacked at about 10.30pm as she returned home from work at the Fort Kinnaird retail park,
As the 20-year-old walked through an underpass towards a bus stop, she was approached by the pair.
DC McShane added: “One of the men pushed her up against a wall while the other rifled through her bag, stealing £20 before throwing the bag on the ground. She was assaulted during the struggle, as she was slapped to the face. After the incident, she took the bus home and called the police.”
The two thugs fled the area, heading off towards the Asda superstore at the Jewel.
Officers cannot rule out the possibility that the duo could strike again and are keen to hear from anyone who can assist with their inquiries into either of these incidents.
The first suspect is white, about 5ft 6in tall and wearing dark clothing, the second is white, 5ft 8in tall and was also wearing dark clothing.
During the robbery on Wednesday both men were also wearing woollen hats and gloves.
DI McShane said: “No-one has come forward at this time, but hopefully this description of the events will help jog someone’s memory
“At the entrance to the park there is a bus stop, if someone has got off a bus there, they might have seen or heard something.
“The description of the suspects and the manner of both attacks are similar and we are looking into the possibility that the same men are responsible.
Anyone who recognises the description of these men or remembers seeing suspicious activity in the area is asked to immediately contact police on 0131-311 3131 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.