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Purse snatchings occur in two areas of county

Authorities on Tuesday were investigating two afternoon purse snatchings that occurred in different parts of Citrus County.

The first occurred at 1:03 p.m. outside the Winn-Dixie on U.S. 19 in Homosassa, Citrus County sheriff's spokeswoman Gail Tierney said. A woman sitting in a car outside the grocery store was confronted by two young women. One woman stood at the driver's side, and the other stood at the passenger side.

The woman on the passenger side reached inside the vehicle and took the purse off the seat, the woman told deputies.

The suspects then got into a vehicle, and the victim got out of her vehicle, ran after them and was able to get her purse back, Tierney said.

The second robbery took place at 3:41 p.m. outside the SunTrust Bank on County Road 491 in Beverly Hills, Tierney said. An elderly woman had just withdrawn money from an ATM, when a younger woman grabbed her purse, Tierney said.

Witnesses ran after the woman, but they weren't able to catch her. She then drove off in a small white car, Tierney said.

Authorities are searching for the suspects, but no arrests had been made by late Tuesday afternoon. In an e-mail to deputies, authorities warned deputies that the suspects in both incidents were driving in white compact cars, Tierney said.

Tierney said she was not sure whether the robberies are related, but there certainly were similarities.

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