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Published March 16, 2010, 04:44 PM

Two Purse Snatchings in Grand Forks

Grand Forks Police are investigating two purse snatchings that happened last night and they say they don't know yet if they are related.

Grand Forks Police were called to the Bingo Palace parking lot around 6:45 last night after a woman reported being robbed.

Rahn Farder: "She stated that she had been out in the parking lot, had just exited her car, walking to the business when she was approached from behind. An individual then spoke to her, grabbed her purse, there was a struggle and a handgun was displayed."

The man pushed the woman to the ground and she dropped her purse. The robber grabbed the woman's wallet and took off. Police think he might have fled in a white truck. Then a little after 9:00 there was another purse snatching, this one was in the Hugo's parking lot on 32nd Avenue.

Rahn Farder: "She turned away and when she turned away she saw an individual walking away with her purse. She yelled at the individual causing a little bit of a commotion because others saw what was going on."

The thief in that incident dropped the purse after the woman started yelling at him. Police used their K-9 unit to try to find him.

Rahn Farder: "The dog, from my understanding, did pick up a track for a while and it was lost."

The Police Department says they aren't sure if the two incidents are related, but do say that purse snatchings are unusual.

Rahn Farder: "We can't say for sure that they are not or are the same person, descriptions we received are different, although sometimes descriptions can be off. So its way early to tell if it is the same person or if they are related."

Police say since there aren't many witnesses, they rely on public tips for crimes like these.

The suspect in the Bingo Palace parking lot robbery is described as a white man 5ft 8 to 5ft 10 inches tall, medium build, dark clothing and wearing a baseball cap.

He left the area in possibly a white truck and was headed north.

In the Hugo's incident, the suspect is described as a white or Hispanic male, late teens to early 20's, brown hair and a goatee last seen wearing a yellow hooded sweatshirt.

If you have any information about either incident you are asked to call the Grand Forks Police Department, at 787-8000.