The incident happened around 11pm on Thursday, May 3 in the Oxgangs area of Edinburgh.
A 34-year-old woman was walking in Oxgangs Road North when a man approached her. The man then grabbed at her rucksack and tried to steal it from her however, the woman refused to let go.
During the struggle, the victim fell to the ground and the suspect made off empty handed after being disturbed by a female member of the public shouting at him.
Police are now urging anyone who can assist with their enquiries to come forward.
The suspect is described as being a white male, 6ft tall with a slim build and wearing a grey hooded top and jeans.
A police spokesman said: “The woman suffered minor cuts as a result of this incident. However, she did not lose her rucksack
“Nevertheless, this was an upsetting experience for her and we are keen to speak with anyone who can help us identify the man responsible.
“We are particularly keen to trace the woman who shouted at the suspect during the struggle and would urge her to contact police immediately.”
Anyone with any information can contact Lothian and Borders Police on 0131 311 3131, or the charity Crimestoppers in confidence and complete anonymity on 0800 555 111.