DATE/TIME: Monday, February 7th, 2004 / 04:15 PM

A man and woman have been arrested on robbery charges after committing 2 purse snatchings on Friday morning, February 4th.

The first robbery occurred at about 9:30 a.m. near 328 McClellan Street. A 42-year-old Schenectady woman was walking on McClellan when a Hispanic male grabbed her purse from her and shoved her to the ground. The man ran and then got into a maroon sedan that was waiting for him. The car then fled south on McClellan to State Street. The woman was not injured in the incident.

At about 9:45 a.m., a second purse snatching occurred on Lenox Road at Douglas Road. A 66-year-old Schenectady woman was walking when a Hispanic male grabbed the purse she was carrying and ran. The victim (who was not injured in the incident) alerted a passing Union College security officer who observed a man get into a car on Lenox. The security officer followed the car, but lost it at Nott Street after it went through a red light. Fortunately, the security officer was able to get the vehicle’s license plate number. An advisory for the vehicle was subsequently broadcast, but the vehicle and suspects were not located.

At about noon on Saturday, patrol officers responded to a gas “drive off” at the Stewart’s shop at 1757 Van Vranken Avenue, in which the vehicle involved matched that of the one involved in the 2 purse snatchings. At about 12:40 p.m., an officer observed the vehicle traveling on Carrie Street and stopped it. The male suspected in the purse snatchings was inside the vehicle and was taken into custody.

Orlando Ayala, 28, of 514 State Street in Hudson, has been charged with 2 counts of Robbery-2nd degree and Petit Larceny. At the time of his arrest, Ayala also had a NYS Parole warrant.

Carmen Torres, 41, of 525 Clarendon Street, was arrested on Sunday and is also charged with 2 counts of Robbery-2nd degree. Torres was the driver of the vehicle used to flee the robberies.

Ayala and Torres are currently being held in the Schenectady County Jail.