DARTMOUTH (CBS) — A 40-year-old New Bedford man is being held without bail after he was charged with shoving and grabbing the purses of two women in their 70’s. The attacks occurred in separate instances not far from each other in Dartmouth Monday and Tuesday.

Miguel Brasil appeared in court Wednesday (WBZ-TV)

Police said Miguel Brasil admitted to police that he drove to the Citizens Bank Monday intent on robbing it. Instead, he grabbed the purse of a 76-year-old woman who had just cashed two checks totaling $700.

According to police, after a violent struggle, she fell to the ground and Brasil took off.

A man wanted for snatching a woman’s purse in Dartmouth. (Image Credit: Dartmouth Police)

One day later, Brasil alleged struck again at a Rite Aid near the bank, stealing the purse of a 72-year-old woman. This robbery was witnessed by an off-duty Dartmouth police officer who alerted police.

Brasil was arrested after a brief pursuit by Dartmouth and New Bedford Police that ended when Brasil crashed his car into a Dartmouth cruiser, suffering minor injuries.

In both cases, the victims told police they were given a good shove as they were about to get into their cars.

“It’s a pretty low blow to do that: prey on older adults like that. I feel they’re targeted,” said Karna Clausen, who was shopping at the Rite Aid Wednesday.

Brasil was arraigned Wednesday on several charges including unarmed robbery on a person 60 years of age or older, assault and battery, and resisting arrest. He will return to court April 16 for a dangerousness hearing.

The incidents are reminding residents to be aware of their personal safety. “It’s good to have warnings that something is happening so you can be prepared,” said Connie.

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