A 10-year-old girl was mugged for 68p as she walked to the shop to buy some sweets near her home in Wirral.
The young victim was pushed by her attacker, who grabbed her purse and ran off in The Crescent on Brackenwood Estate in Bromborough on Saturday.
Her father, who does not want to be named, said she was so shocked she had started to talk backwards as she tried to explain her ordeal.
He told the BBC: "The man who did this is disgusting, he needs to be caught."
"The look on my daughter's face was horrible. It was the kind of look you would never want to see on your child.
"She was not making any sense at all. We eventually managed to calm her down and she said she had been mugged.
"We immediately got in the car and started driving round to see if we could find him," he said.
Her attacker is described as between 17 and 20 years of age, with dark hair and blonde streaks and was wearing blue jeans with holes in them.
Insp Dave Westby said: "This was a despicable incident and left the young girl quite shaken up.
"But we would like to reassure people that this is an isolated, opportunist attack and incidents like this are thankfully rare."
Anyone with information is asked to come forward.