A 100-year-old woman suffered a broken neck when her handbag was stolen by a thief who approached her from behind and knocked her over.
The victim was left with facial bruising after the attack in broad daylight in Derby and is recovering in hospital.
The incident at around 8.30am was described by police as "particularly nasty".
Detective Sergeant Laura Kershaw has appealed for anyone with information to come forward, saying the elderly woman is unable to provide police with a description of the robber.
She said: "The victim has been unable to give us a description of the person or persons responsible for this robbery - that is why we need your help to find who did this."
She added: "We are particularly keen to speak to anyone who may have seen anyone with a bag matching the one pictured in any suspicious circumstances."
The stolen green fake leather bag with gold clasps was found around half a mile away at the junction of Moore Street and Normanton Road.
Police are appealing for CCTV or dash cam footage of the incident or of the robber with the bag.
Ms Kershaw said: "This is a particularly nasty incident that has targeted a very vulnerable elderly woman who was unable to defend herself. We need your help to find and stop those responsible."
- Press Association