A gang of boys, some as young as nine, beat a man in a violent robbery causing him to suffer broken ribs and need hospital treatment.
The victim, a 58-year-old man, was walking from West Ashland along the redway which runs between V7 Saxon Street and H9 Groveway in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, at about 9.55pm on Monday when he was set upon by seven youths.
He was struck from behind and knocked to the ground where the group continued to assault him before stealing his bag.
Detective Constable Katrina Walmsley, of Thames Valley Police, said: "The group cowardly attacked the victim from behind and then continued to assault him as he lay on the ground and tried to get up.
"The offenders are between about nine years old to about 15 years old. Unfortunately there are not other descriptions of the offenders at this time but I am confident that someone knows who they are.
"The bag that was stolen is quite distinctive; it is royal blue in colour with white and blue drawstrings. If you have seen the bag or know where it is please contact police immediately.
"This was a traumatic incident for the victim who sustained cracked ribs and severe bruising to his face and body. He was treated at Milton Keynes General Hospital but has since been discharged."