Portland police say they are closing in on a suspect they believe is connected to an armed robbery earlier this month and a failed purse-snatching Sunday evening.

Both incidents took place during the daytime in the city’s historic Old Port district.

Portland Police Lt. Robert Martin said a woman reported about 5 p.m. Sunday that a man approached her from behind and attempted to steal her purse near the intersection of Fore and Union streets after she left a fitness class.

The woman, 29, fought the man off and screamed for help, alerting people nearby. The man then fled, Martin said. The man was wearing a red sweatshirt and camouflage pants, Martin said.

Martin said investigators believe the person responsible for the recent attempted robbery is also connected to the Nov. 4 incident on Commercial Street, when a man stole a $20 pair of headphones from a woman’s head in broad daylight. When she reacted, a second man showed a handgun that was hidden in his jacket sleeve, she said.

“Its troubling to have two incidents that close together in that district,” Martin said. Such daylight or early-evening crimes are rare in Portland, Martin said in the past.

Martin said investigators are following leads and they hope to make more progress Tuesday and Wednesday.


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