Charleston police are investigating the thefts of purses early Saturday from two women who were walking on the East Side.

In both cases, the victims reported that a man on a bicycle brandished a knife and demanded their purses after having unsuccessfully attempted to swoop in and grab the purses while approaching them from behind, according to police reports.

About 3:20 a.m., a 19-year-old woman told police she was robbed while walking on Cannon Street between Smith and Felix streets. She described the suspect as a black man, 25-30 years old, with a dark complexion and a muscular build. He was wearing a white tank top, stone-washed blue jeans and white sneakers, the report states. He had a low haircut and gapped front teeth.

Shortly after 4 a.m., another 19-year-old woman reported having been robbed while she and two female friends were walking near the corner of Spring and Meeting streets. Her purse contained a Russian passport, according to the report. She described the robber as a younger black man, wearing a thin-striped shirt and a khaki Panama hat. He was riding a black bicycle.

Anyone with information about either robbery should call Charleston police at 577-7434 or Crime Stoppers at 554-1111.