A would-be thief threatened a woman with a syringe before trying to grab her bag as she left a pharmacy in Shettleston in Glasgow.
The robbery bid happened on Shettleston Road, opposite Etive Street, at about 09:10 on Saturday.
The man let go of the woman's bag after a struggle and made off along Shettleston Road towards the city centre.
The woman, although shaken by the incident, was not injured.
The suspect is described as white, 5ft 4in tall, 25 to 30 years of age, with dark hair, of skinny build and with a gaunt, pale complexion.
He was wearing a dark, shiny jacket and black tracksuit bottoms.
Det Con James Clark, of Greater Glasgow Police, said: "Thankfully the lady was not injured, but to be confronted by a man with a syringe was frightening for her to experience.
"We are currently checking CCTV in the area but hope that there may be people who saw what happened, or indeed passing motorists who may have dash-cam footage that will assist the inquiry.
"We believe the man may have been hanging about the shops for a while before he threatened the woman. So, if you saw someone matching the description or have any information, then please contact the Community Investigation Unit at Govan Police Office."