Portland police are investigating three attempted strong-arm robberies of women that occurred in the city’s West End in the last week.

In each case, the women resisted and the robber fled, police said in a news release.

At 10:45 p.m. Sunday, a 24-year old woman was walking on Vaughan Street near Brackett Street when she was assaulted by a man who jumped in front of her and tried to grab her purse before fleeing empty-handed.

About two hours earlier, a 21-year-old woman was walking on Congress Street near Weymouth Street when a man ran up from behind and tried to steal her cellphone, which she had just put in her pocket. Again, the man fled without taking anything.

On Wednesday, Sept. 16, a would-be robber with a similar description ran up behind two women walking on Neal Street near Congress Street. The man knocked one of the women, a 24-year-old, to the ground as he tried unsuccessfully to steal her purse. The woman suffered minor injuries but did not require hospitalization.

The assailant in each incident was described as white, in his early 20s, about 5 feet 8 inches tall with a thin build and no facial hair, police said. He wore dark clothing, possibly jeans and a gray hooded sweatshirt and in one incident wore a red baseball cap.

Because the description of the attacker in each incident is similar and they happened in close proximity, police believe they are connected.

Police urged people to be aware of their surroundings and to be wary of a man coming up behind them.

Police ask that anyone with information about the crimes call 874-8539. Any suspicious activity should be reported by calling 911, police said.