A teenage boy was followed from a bus station by two thugs who robbed him after seeing him talking on his mobile phone after getting off a bus.
Detectives believe the “opportunist” robbers targeted the 17-year-old after seeing him with his phone.
One officer described the duo as “bullies”.
The victim was followed from Preston Bus Station at around 6.30pm on
Wednesday and was approached by the robbers as he walked down nearby Percy Street. The men tried to make conversation with him, asking him for the time but the suspicious teenager told them his phone battery “had died”.
The men then stood in front of him and one said: “What have you got for me?”
He then chillingly added: “ Give me your phone and give me your money or I’ll knife you.”
The frightened teenager feared he had a knife as he was standing with his hand in his pocket. He handed over his phone and loose change and the pair fled. The victim, a student, saw a police car on Church Street and reported the robbery.
Detectives are studying CCTV and have launched an appeal. Det Sgt John Crichton, of Preston CID, said: “This was an opportunist crime, we think they saw him talking on his phone. It is a bullying offence, and the victim was extremely intimidated.”
The first robber is described as being of mixed race, 17 to 20, wearing sports clothing and trainers and about 5ft 2in to 5ft 4in. He had a pock marked face and was stocky.
His accomplice was white, 6ft 1in, with a clear complexion and short dark hair. He was also 17 to 20 and wore sports clothing.
Witnesses can call 101.