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East Kilbride: Police hunt dog walker who tried to steal canine and attacked owner

A dog walker is being hunted by police after he tried to steal a canine and then attacked its owner before fleeing empty-handed in a van.

The 66-year-old woman was targeted by a man in a wooded area near Benbecula Park in East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire.

The victim was assaulted as she held on to her dog.

Police Scotland said the incident, which happened between 10.30am and 11am on Friday, has left the woman "shaken and alarmed".

The suspect had a small white and tan-coloured dog with him.

He escaped in a black Ford Transit van, which was parked on nearby Benbecula and drove towards Calderwood Road.

The man is described as around 5ft 8in tall, in his 30s, and with a long brown beard.

He was said to be wearing a navy bandana and black clothing.

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Detective Constable Sarah McNeil, of Lanarkshire CID, said: "This appears to be an attempt to rob the woman of her dog, and it is vital that we establish the full circumstances of what happened and trace the man responsible.

"I would like to speak to anyone who was in the area around 10.30am to 11am on Friday who saw or heard anything suspicious.

"Similarly, anyone with private CCTV, doorbell footage or dashcam of the area is urged to review the footage and bring anything significant to our attention."