New Bedford police are investigating two purse snatchings that took place in the Purchase St. area.

Detective Captain Steven Vicente says the first incident took place around 11:30 a.m. Monday near Purchase St. and Walnut St. when a man approached a 77-year old woman on her porch and asked for directions.

He asked for directions a second time then grabbed her purse and fled.

The suspect is described as a black male in his 20's between 5'6 and 5'9 inches tall, wearing black pants and a black sweatshirt and weighing between 130 to 140 pounds.

The second incident took place at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Pilgrim United soup kitchen.

A worker was folding some clothes when she looked down and noticed her purse had gone missing.

She didn't see anyone take it.

Vicente says it's unknown at this time if the cases are related although they did take place within a block and a half of each other.

Anyone with information is asked to call Det. William Sauve at 508-991-6300 ext. 130 or leave an anonymous tip at 508-961-4584.