PORTLAND — Portland police are searching for a would-be purse snatcher who tried unsuccessfully to wrestle away a woman’s pocketbook Monday afternoon.

The 34-year-old woman and witnesses in the area of Spring and Cross streets reported that a man grabbed the purse at 2:20 p.m. and tried to yank it off the woman’s shoulder, but she held on, police said.

The man continued to pull, dragged the woman on the ground for a short distance until witnesses yelled at him and he ran away empty-handed, heading up Spring Street toward the Civic Center, police said.

Witness descriptions suggest a scrawny man of 5 feet 10 inches, 120 pounds. He is white with light-colored hair and was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and jeans. Anyone with information is asked to call Portland police at 874 8533.