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San Mateo police have released a composite sketch of a man they say beat and robbed two women in separate attacks in or near Central Park last week.

SAN MATEO -- Police have released a composite sketch of a man they say beat and robbed two women in separate attacks in or near Central Park in San Mateo.

The two victims, one attacked near the Central Park rose garden and the other at an adjacent bus stop, provided such similar suspect descriptions that investigators now believe the suspect in both robberies is one and the same, San Mateo Police Spokesman David Norris said.

The first attack occurred Nov. 26, when a 24-year-old woman walking her dog near the rose garden about 6:15 p.m. was hit over the head with a blunt object and robbed of her purse, Norris said. The second occurred on Thanksgiving about 10:30 p.m., when the suspect crept up on a 40-year-old San Bruno woman as she waited for a bus outside the park at 9th Avenue and El Camino Real.

The man hit the second woman over the head in the same way, Norris said, stunning her long enough to steal her purse and run south on Palm Avenue. Both women's injuries were visible but minor, and they were treated at the scene.

Police immediately began working with park rangers after the first robbery to provide increased security within the park limits, both to increase visitor safety and keep a lookout for the suspect. Despite these precautions, the second attack occurred on the opposite side of the park, just out of sight of newly-added patrols.

The suspect is a dark-skinned male between 20 and 25 years old, about 5 feet 10 inches tall and 160 pounds. He was wearing a dark green puffy jacket and a black flat-billed hat during both attacks.

Anyone with information about the suspect's identity or either of the attacks is asked to contact Detective Dave Manion at 650-522-7654 or dmanion@cityofsanmateo.org.

Contact Erin Ivie at eivie@bayareanewsgroup.com.