An 86-year-old woman was pushed and dragged along the ground during a robbery at her home in north Belfast.
It is believed the pensioner was targeted after being followed from a Post Office in the city centre to Skegoniell.
She suffered minor injuries while unsuccessfully trying to stop the thief stealing her handbag.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland said the woman was left badly shaken by her ordeal.
The raider is described as being in his early 30s, of slim build with a dark complexion and dark eyes.
He had called at the house claiming to have cut down trees in the area and said he wanted to check the back garden for stray fallen branches.
Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to contact the PSNI.