Police are hunting a masked man who threw liquid thought to be petrol on the floor of a cafe in what officers believe was a targeted incident.
The man ran into Rocco’s on Brandon Street in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, at about 12.30pm on Thursday and threw accelerant.
He was disturbed by staff and passing police officers and fled in the direction of Strathmore Road near the council buildings, then out of sight of officers.
No-one was injured but staff have been left shaken by the incident.
Police said that had the liquid been set alight, it would have caused “significant damage” to the building and harm to staff.
Officers are appealing for any information about the incident, such as dashcam footage taken around the scene or anyone who may have seen the man before or afterwards.
The suspect is around 6ft, of slim build with fair hair and was seen carrying a petrol can. He was dressed in black and was wearing a mask.
Detective Inspector Jamie Campbell, of Hamilton CID, said: “Although no motive has been established for this attack, we believe that, for whatever reason, the cafe was the intended target.
“We have been checking CCTV and speaking to those in the area at the time and would further appeal to any motorists with dashcams who may have been in the area between 12.00pm and 12.40pm. They may have captured footage that may assist officers with their inquiries.
“We’d also like to hear from anyone who may have seen the man either before or afterwards. It’s possible he had been hanging about the area prior to the attack on the cafe.”
Any information can be passed to officers at Hamilton Police Station on 101.