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Last Updated: Monday, 12 May, 2003, 15:45 GMT 16:45 UK
Robber stabbed with screwdriver
Screw bit
The would-be robber targeted an electrician

A would-be thief was stabbed in the stomach with a screwdriver when he tried to rob an electrician at knifepoint, police said.

The man fled empty-handed following the incident - with the screwdriver apparently still lodged in his body.

Police are now trying to trace the robber, who is being urged to seek medical treatment.

A spokesperson for the Lothian and Borders force said the incident took place in East Lothian shortly after 0900 BST on Monday.

The electrician had been returning to his van after making a house call in the Northfield area of Tranent.

He was confronted by a man holding a knife, who demanded he hand over his belongings.

'Very unusual case'

"The workman tried to fight the man off and ended up stabbing him in the stomach with a screwdriver," said the spokesperson.

"The robber then ran off, apparently with the screwdriver still lodged in his body."

DC Liam Maguire, of Dalkeith CID, said: "This is a very unusual case where the original culprit has come off worst.

We would urge this man to seek medical attention or contact local police
DC Liam Maguire

"Whilst we would naturally be keen to trace this man in connection with the crime he is alleged to have tried to carry out, our more important priority at the moment must be to trace him to ensure that he is not seriously injured.

"The workman reacted instinctively but unfortunately he may have caused the robber quite a damaging injury and we believe the man may require urgent treatment."

Police are appealing for witnesses to the incident.

The would-be robber was said to be white and in his late teens to early 20s.

He was about 5ft 8ins tall, slim, with long black greasy hair and was wearing a black t-shirt and blue jeans.

"We would urge this man to seek medical attention or contact local police and would like to hear from anyone who may know who he is or who thinks they may have seen anything suspicious," added DC Maguire.

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