The circumstances were similar in two knife-point robberies that occurred in Palo Alto Thursday afternoon and Friday night.
In both cases, a slight Asian woman walking was grabbed from behind by a much larger man. The suspect descriptions are similar, although police do not know if it was the same man, Police Agent Dan Ryan said, .
In the first attack, a woman walking near the Lucie Stern Community Center about 2:30 p.m. Thursday was grabbed from behind and lost her purse.
In the second attack, a woman walking downtown in the 400 block of Hamilton Avenue at 10:50 p.m. Friday was grabbed from behind by a man who had walked past her in the opposite direction. She also lost her purse.
The first man was described as about 25 years old, 5-feet-11-inches tall and weighing 185 pounds. He had short hair and a goatee.
The second man was described as in his 20s, about 6-feet tall and weighing 170 pounds. He had short hair and was clean-shaven.
The first man left in a black Ford Focus four-door sedan with no license plate.
Police have increased patrols as a result of the two attacks.
"As always, we remind pedestrians to walk in pairs or groups, to always be aware of their surroundings, and to avoid deserted streets, particularly in the later evening," Ryan said.
Anyone with information about either attack is asked to call the Police Department tip line at 650-329-2190.