Police in Hawke's Bay are investigating after two assaults that happened in Napier on Saturday, which are believed to be linked.
The first incident happened at around 10:30am, when two women tried to grab a handbag from a woman in her mid-60s as she was walking along Avondale Rd near Neeve Rd, Taradale.
Members of the public came to her assistance and the two women fled in a maroon-coloured, four-door sedan, possibly a Mitsubishi Diamante.
Around 30 minutes later, a woman who had been standing by a parked car approached a female tourist walking along Marine Parade and tried to take her handbag.
Police say the woman attempted to punch the victim as she resisted, and eventually managed to take her bag.
Witnesses say the woman left in a maroon-coloured, four-door sedan.
The handbag was later found in an alleyway between McLaren Crescent and Riverbend Rd.
Police described the first offender as approximately 30 years old, Maori or Pacific Islander, approximately 170cm tall, with long, black hair, bare feet and wearing a black T-shirt and grey trousers.
The second offender is described as 16 to 18 years old, with long, black hair, Maori, wearing a fawn-coloured jersey, light blue, three-quarter-length jeans and also barefoot.
"We are wanting to speak to anyone who may have witnessed either incident or has information that may assist in identifying the two offenders or the car they were in," says Detective Sergeant Craig Vining.
"Although both victims have recovered well and displayed immense bravery during their attacks, there is the very real risk of incurring serious injury when an offender tries to snatch handbags, and we would ask anyone approached in this way to let go of the item and call police immediately."
Anyone with any information is asked to contact police on (06) 873 0500 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.