Two women were injured in unprovoked attacks on their way to work in Brighton yesterday morning (Tuesday 27 November).
One was robbed of her bag, prompting Sussex Police to issue a public appeal for information.
The force said: “Officers are investigating incidents involving two woman who were approached as they walked to work on Tuesday and were grabbed.
“One woman was punched and the other was punched and robbed of her bag.
“It was a busy time of the morning and a motorist or passer-by may be able to help with the investigation.
“At 7am a 22-year-old woman was walking from Fitch Drive into Willingdon Road when she passed a man walking in the opposite direction.
“He followed her before grabbing her and pulling her to the ground. He punched her several times. He then ran off back to the path through the woods leading to Fitch Drive.
“Shortly after 7am another woman, a 24-year-old, was walking near to the Meadow View Community Centre when she was approached by a man who asked for a cigarette.
“She said she didn’t smoke. He tried to talk to her again but she carried on walking. In Coombe Road, near to the school, he punched her, grabbed her bag and told her he had a knife.
“He grabbed her hand and walked with her a short distance before she managed to flag down a passing car. He left the area with her yellow bag.
“The first man was described as 5ft 7in, thin build, wearing a dark jacket, with the hood up and a scarf pulled up around his face. He was wearing black gloves with plastic pads on the fingers.
“The second man was described as a similar height and black, wearing a green zipped up hoody with the hood up and dark baggy trousers. He wore new, hi-top style trainers.”
Detective Inspector Simon Morgan said: “We believe these incidents on Tuesday morning are linked and although the descriptions differ slightly, they are similar.
“They both happened in the same area, only a short walk apart. We are treating them as robberies and both women suffered injuries and one needed to be checked over at hospital.
“The Coombe Road area is very busy with people at this time of the morning and we appealing to anyone who might have seen anything which could help.
“We would particularly like to speak to motorists on Coombe Road who might have seen the victim but not realised what was happening and didn’t stop.
“Also any residents who might have looked out of their window and seen something which could help.
“Anyone with information or who witnessed anything is asked to contact us online quoting Operation Kinloss.”
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