CCTV Catches Muggers, Images Released
In a continuing effort to catch a trio of thieves, investigating detectives released footage recorded by CCTV security surveillance equipment as part of their hunt. These criminals are to be considered armed and dangerous, as one of them was so bold as to hold a teenage boy hostage with a knife on a Lothian bus. Also captured on camera were two people whom investigating police believe having a connection with a recent attack at a local convenience store.
The images and the investigations related thereto are just a small part of what the police are calling Operation Arable, in which police are doubling their efforts to crack down on muggings, robberies, and attacks in Edinburgh.
The first incident, the robbery on the bus, took place at approximately 3.15pm on Sunday, January 23 of 2011; in the robbery, a 15 year old boy was threatened with a knife and robbed of his cell phone while riding the number 14 Lothian bus.
The suspect can be clearly seen on the CCTV security surveillance footage, which police have been analyzing carefully in connection with the incident. The man is described as white, around 21 years old, slim, broad shoulders, with gaunt facial features, and wearing a dark blue zipped top with silver panels down both sides, and a Hearts scarf.
The second incident took place very early in the morning on Wednesday, January 26 of 2011; in this incident, a 27 year old man was going about his usual business in Scotmid on Nicolson Street. However, he soon found himself in an argument with another man. The situations deteriorated quickly, and the victim soon found himself unconscious on the ground with a broken jaw.
The suspect of this incident is described as a white male, somewhere between 20 to 25 years old. The first is 5ft 8in tall, medium build, with short brown hair, while the other is 5ft 11in to 6ft 1in with a medium build and short brown hair.
In the initial investigation, police were able to questions witnesses and create reports, but it was only just recently that they received approval from the Crown Office to release the CCTV security surveillance footage to the public to aid in the effort.
A spokesman for the police released the following statement: “We want anyone who recognizes these individuals featured in the CCTV images to contact us. Likewise, anyone else who has any other information that can assist our inquiries should also get in touch.”
Earlier this month, police released CCTV footage in a bid to trace two men in connection with a late-night attack on a good Samaritan outside the same 24-hour Scotmid store.
The 25-year-old victim needed surgery on a broken jaw when he was assaulted after apparently intervening in an argument between a security guard and two men at 3.45am on December 17.
Operation Arable saw dedicated patrols carried out on Thursday, Friday and Saturday – the days which usually see a spike in muggings – earlier this month. Police have identified midnight to 4am as the worst time for muggings, with the culprits often trying to take advantage of revellers on nights out.
A total of 280 street robberies were recorded last year in the city, up 19 per cent on the previous year’s figure of 235.
Detective Chief Inspector Gary Cunningham said: “Muggings and street crime can have a serious impact on our communities’ confidence.”