The scruffy opportunist snuck into a front room at Careema Wilson’s family guesthouse in Newington in the middle of the afternoon as little Olivia napped on the bed.
Careema, 30, managed to catch it all on CCTV – and has slammed police for failing to call five days on from the incident.
“It’s frightening to think what would’ve happened if she had woken up,” said Careema of Olivia, who is 20 months old. “She would’ve screamed for sure and he could’ve done anything.
“As a mother, you make sure your child is safe and you always feel they’re safe in your own home, in your own environment and your own place.
“That’s how I feel but then this happened and I feel sick – absolutely sick.”
Security footage showed the thief creeping into the guesthouse last Thursday through the unlocked front door before trying the front room.
He is seen making straight for Careema’s bag and taking out the purse, containing bank cards and about £2, before making his getaway holding it by his side.
Careema said: “He took the purse out of the bag, closed the bag nice and neatly and placed it exactly where I left it so when I went back to it, I didn’t think anything had been taken.”
Remarkably, the brazen thief then returned with a pal and is seen on the CCTV footage trying the doors of locked rooms upstairs before being challenged by Careema who had been busy in the kitchen.
“They said the council had called and that they were meant to be staying in this half-way house,” said Careema. “But I told them it isn’t a half-way house, that’s up the road.
“They were scruffy looking men and were stinking of alcohol.”
A passer-by found Careema’s purse on the pavement outside and returned it, raising the alarm and prompting Careema to review the CCTV.
“It shows him going into the room where Olivia was and I couldn’t watch it at that point – I just cried and cried,” she said.
Careema phoned police and was told officers would visit – days after the crime – but felt she was given the runaround, with changes of times.
“They said they were opportunists and were highly unlikely to return,” said Careema.
A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “Police in Edinburgh have received a report of theft from a premise on Minto Street that happened on Thursday 7 December. Officers were scheduled to attend the premise to obtain further details on Sunday 10 December but were subsequently diverted to a higher priority call. As agreed with the victim an appointment has been re-arranged for the soonest most convenient time.”
She added: “Police received a report of theft from a premise on Minto Street that happened around 2am on Sunday 2 July. Officers attended and obtained a statement from the victim and noted a crime report.”