A WOULD-BE robber sprayed de-icer into the face of his victim before attempting to snatch his mobile phone.

The attempted robbery took place on the path that links the petrol station near the J Davy garage in Churchill Way West, and the Wickes store, at 11.20am on Wednesday, January 15.

The victim, a 42-year-old man from Basingstoke, was approached by an unknown man who then sprayed him in the face with a substance that looked and smelled like de-icer.

He tried to grab the victim’s phone, but the victim fought him off. The victim was punched in the head in the scuffle and the attacker ran off.

Detective Constable Drew Wright, of Basingstoke CID, said: “This offence was committed in broad daylight on a member of the public simply going about his business.

“The possible use of de-icer spray in this incident is particularly unusual. The pathway is a busy route for people travelling in and out of the South Ham area so someone may have seen this incident or the attacker running away.”

Police have released an efit picture of the attacker.

He is described as white, aged in his early 20s, and of tubby build. He wore a black zip-up jacket, dark blue jeans and white trainers. He also had dark stubble on his face.

Anyone with information can contact Det Con Wright at Basingstoke CID on 101 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.