Police searching for two possible purse thieves - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Police searching for two possible purse thieves

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Two women were robbed of their purses at gunpoint today in the El Cerrito district, possibly by the same bandit who made a failed attempt to pull off the same crime a short time later several miles to the west, authorities said.

The first robbery took place shortly before 10 a.m., when a man with shoulder-length braids approached a woman walking with her sister and young child in the 5900 block of Estelle Street, displayed a handgun and demanded a purse hanging from the youngster's stroller. The bandit then grabbed the handbag and ran off to the west on Vale Way.

About 1 p.m., a similar-looking man threatened a woman with a gun and stole her tan leather purse at an apartment complex in the 5880 block of University Avenue, police said.

Less than an hour later, a man with long, dark braided hair got out of a blue sedan in an alley off Adams Avenue in Normal Heights, confronted a woman and displayed a pistol as the victim was getting into her car in the 4600 block of Bancroft Street.

When he ordered her to surrender her purse, the woman began honking her car horn, prompting the man to run back to the vehicle he'd just exited, police said. He got into a passenger seat of the sedan, which then was driven out of the area.

The victims gave police similar perpetrator descriptions, though one of the women said he was clean-shaven and another recalled that he had a mustache and goatee. 

The first woman to be robbed said she thought the pistol the thief was carrying might have been a BB gun.

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