Portland police warn about purse snatchings by man on bicycle

Posted Feb. 07, 2013, at 12:32 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — Portland police are investigating a number of purse snatchings that have occurred in the city over the last month.

Lt. Scott Pelletier said five such robberies have been reported between Jan. 5 and Feb. 5, with two incidents occurring Monday.

Monday’s cases were reported in the evening hours on Casco Street and on Congress Street, according to Pelletier.

In all five instances, the suspect was described as an average-built, white male with collar to shoulder-length brown hair, wearing dark clothing and riding a dark-colored bicycle, Pelletier said.

The lieutenant said victims have stated to police the suspect was riding out of control on his bike upon approaching them, snatching the purse and then riding away. Several purse snatching attempts were unsuccessful with the suspect yelling “sorry” in an alleged attempt to have the contact appear accidental.

The area the incidents have occurred is between High and Temple Streets and on Congress and Commercial Street between the hours of 6 and 10 p.m., Pelletier said. Anyone with information on the case should contact Portland police at 874-8533.

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