Hawke's Bay Police are hunting two women after two brazen assaults in Napier on Saturday.
The attacks were apparently carried out by the pair, while a young child waited for them in a getaway vehicle.
At about 10.30am, a woman in her mid-60s was walking along Avondale Road near Neeve Road, Taradale, when she was approached by two women.
One of the women attempted to grab the victim's handbag but she held on to it while shouting for assistance.
Members of the public came to assist her while the two offenders left in a maroon-coloured four-door sedan, possibly a Mitsubishi Diamante.
Approximately half an hour later, a female tourist was walking on the footpath of Marine Parade, Napier.
As she walked past a parked car, another woman who had been standing by the car grabbed the tourist's handbag and tried to take it from her.
The victim resisted and the offender attempted to punch her.
The offender then left in the vehicle, having taken the bag from the victim. Again, members of the public came to the victim's aid.
The vehicle the offender got into was described by witnesses as a maroon-coloured four-door sedan.
The victim's handbag was later located in an alleyway between McLaren Crescent and Riverbend Road, Napier.
Police believe the two incidents are linked.
The first female offender is described as approximately 30 years old, Maori or Pacific Islander, approximately 170cm tall, with long black hair, bare feet and wearing a black t-shirt and grey trousers.
The second offender is described as 16-18 years old, with long black hair, Maori, wearing a fawn-coloured jersey, light blue three-quarter length jeans, and also had bare feet.
The vehicle connected to the offenders was being driven by a male Maori or Pacific Islander.
There was also a child aged approximately 6 years old in the vehicle.
Detective Sergeant Craig Vining of Hawkes Bay CIB says the description of the Marine Parade offender is very similar to that of the first female offender in Taradale.
"We are wanting to speak to anyone who may have witnessed either incident or has information that may assist in identifying the two offenders or the car they were in.
"Although both victims have recovered well and displayed immense bravery during their attacks, there is the very real risk of incurring serious injury when an offender tries to snatch handbags, and we would ask anyone approached in this way, to let go of the item and call Police immediately."