The thief targeted the 72-year-old man when he left his store and pushed him to the ground before robbing him of a four-figure sum of money that was in his possession.
The incident happened around 11am on Monday, near to the Londis Convenience Store in Clovenstone Park in Edinburgh.
The suspect then fled the scene towards Harvesters Way and police are now appealing for anyone who may have seen him or witnessed the theft to come forward.
The thief is described as white, between 18 and 20-years-old, 5ft 5ins tall with a stocky build. It is believed he was wearing grey tracksuit bottoms with red distinctive markings on the lower part of both legs.
A police spokesperson said: “This is a particularly nasty assault and robbery on an elderly male, who is well liked within the local community.
“The suspect clearly has no reservations about targeting vulnerable people and he may have been loitering in the area for some time before the theft.
“Anyone who believes they saw the male in the area or who has any other information that can assist with our enquiries is asked to contact police immediately.”
Anyone with any information is asked to contact Lothian and Borders Police on 0131 311 3131, or Crimestoppers in confidence and complete anonymity on 0800 555 111.