A deaf woman was punched in the face by a thug when she tried to prevent him from stealing her purse.
Police said the 36-year-old woman was attacked in New Hall Lane, Preston, after she got out of a taxi.
The incident happened between 6.15pm and 6.30pm on Friday, January 11.
The woman had travelled in a taxi from Chorley and was dropped off outside the Bargain Booze store on the corner of Annis Street.
Det Sgt John Crichton, of Preston CID, said: “The woman was approached by a man who walked past the Nawaab takeaway.
“He attempted to grab her purse, which she was clutching in her hand, and she attempted to fight him off.
“As a result he punched her to the face.
“She is completely deaf and it must have been very scary for her.”
The offender snatched the purse and also took a mobile phone, which the woman had on a lanyard she was wearing around her neck.
He ran off down Annis Street, towards Fishwick Parade.
A passer-by stopped to assist the woman, from Chorley, and called police officers, who attended the scene.
Det Sgt Crichton said the victim, who was shocked by the ordeal, suffered bruising to her face and several cuts inside her mouth.
He said: “The lanyard, which probably snapped during the struggle, was found in Annis Street.
“The purse contained more than £100 in cash and some loose change.
“It was a small, dark blue leather purse with a key ring attached and inside she had a picture of her son.
“There was also some ID inside with a picture of her on it.
“This man was probably just trying to snatch her purse, but if people struggle these sort of incidents can develop from a simple theft to a robbery.
“Sometimes people pick on people because they look vulnerable and maybe that is the position in this case.”
The offender was described as a white man in his late teens or early 20s, who was wearing an all black tracksuit with a black hooded top.
He was around 5ft 7ins, pale and thin, with short, black hair.
Det Sgt Crichton said the thief had grabbed both of the woman’s hands during the incident, which had been swabbed for forensic evidence.
He said detectives were also analysing CCTV footage and had talked to the taxi driver.
If you witnessed the robbery or have any information about the incident that could help police, call officers on 101.
Alternatively information can be reported to the police by calling Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or visiting www.crimestoppers-uk.org.