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Vancouver police search for purse-snatching suspect

This man is a suspect in a number of robberies and attempted robberies of women throughout Vancouver.

Police are hoping the public can help identify a man who is allegedly responsible for robbing women in Vancouver.

The most recent incident occurred on March 15 and police are looking into other incidents that may be connected to the same suspect. 

Const. Tania Visintin with the Vancouver Police Department is asking anyone who knows the man to come forward.

"Through our investigation, we have obtained clear video and pictures of the suspect,” says Visintin. 

The March 15 incident happened around 7:30 p.m. near East 1st Avenue and Renfrew Street. A 31-year-old woman was followed for several blocks by a man she didn’t know.

As the man got closer to her, he approached from behind and used a large knife to cut her purse strap. The suspect fled with the purse after "a brief struggle." 

Weeks earlier, on Feb. 5 at 6 p.m., a 47-year-old woman was approached from behind by a man who tried to rip her bag off her arm near Pender and Hamilton streets.

She fell to the ground but managed to keep hold of her bag. She called the police, but the suspect fled. 

Police were able to get video footage of the suspect from a bus and building security camera, of what he looked like at the time of the March 15 incident. 

The suspect is described as being 25 to 35 years of age with a medium build. He has dark hair, a dark moustache and a beard. 

At the time of the March 15 incident, he was wearing a dark-coloured Nike sweatsuit, black and white runners and a Toronto Raptors baseball cap. 

"Investigators are looking into possible links to other unsolved purse snatchings,” says Visintin.

Anyone who knows who the man is or has information is asked to contact Vancouver police at 604-717-0610.

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