Police believe a thug who assaulted a woman and snatched her handbag may have made his getaway in a private hire taxi.
The victim, a 49-year-old woman, was walking home from a night out along a footpath near the Saints Way Bridge at about 3.15am on Sunday, March 15, when she was approached by a man.
He tried to speak to her before pulling a small red plastic handbag off her shoulder.
The woman struggled with him and the offender assaulted her, causing bruising to her eyes. The offender ran off towards Matalan.
Officers believe he then ran through Parr Street car park and along the canal path before appearing to get into a light-coloured car on Standish Street, near the traffic lights at the junction with Waterside.
The car headed towards Pocket Nook Street and officers believe it may have been a private hire taxi.
The offender is described as white, in his 40s, around 5ft 9ins tall and of slim build.
He had two or three days stubble which was dark in colour and is thought to have been wearing a dark blue waterproof.
DC Roy Waller, of St Helens CID, said: “This must have been very frightening for the victim, but despite this she bravely managed to chase her attacker and last saw him heading towards Parr Street car park.
“We believe the car he got into may have been a private hire taxi and it is now crucial that we speak to the driver of that car as he or she may have vital information which could prove invaluable in tracing the person responsible.
“If you were that driver and you remember picking someone up on Standish Street at that time, I would appeal to you to get in touch with us.
“The offender is likely to have been out of breath and may also have still been carrying the handbag he is thought to have stolen from the victim.”
Anyone with information can call St Helens CID on 0151 777 6842/6844 or Crimestoppers, in confidence, on 0800 555 111.