Ottawa police have stepped up their presence in the south end and are investigating any possible links between a Monday robbery and a spate of robberies in the area since Halloween.

On Monday just before 6:30 p.m., a 58-year-old woman got off a bus at the South Keys Transitway station and was walking away when someone grabbed her from behind.

The suspect demanded money but the woman managed to free herself from his grasp and run, though she dropped her purse.

When the purse was recovered, cash had been removed from it.

The woman wasn't physically hurt.

Police said the suspect is described as being a young man with a darker or tanned complexion, five feet four inches tall to five feet six inches tall, between 20 to 25 years old. He was wearing a dark jacket and dark pants.

Investigators are looking into whether the robbery could be linked to a series of robberies in the south end since Oct. 31.

“We feel there are people in the community aware of who is responsible for one of more of these robberies and we appeal to them to contact us," said robbery unit Staff Sgt. Michael Haarbosch in a media release. “Crime Stoppers is completely acceptable if people are hesitant to contact us directly.”

Police said they have increased the presence of neighbourhood patrol and traffic officers in the area, with foot patrols along pathways and parks. Community police centre officers did a presentation on crime prevention for women and also held a neighbourhood watch meeting.

Coun. Diane Deans will be holding a meeting on Nov. 27 at 7:30 p.m. at the Greenboro Community Centre "to discuss the issues related to the robberies," police said in a media release.

Anyone with any information about any of the robberies, or any other robbery, is asked to call the robbery unit at 613-236-1222, ext. 5116, or Crime Stoppers at 613-233-8477 (TIPS) - toll free at 1-800-222-8477.