Costa Mesa police say they are looking for a purse snatcher on a bike who targeted a woman walking along Newport Boulevard near Del Mar Avenue.

A man riding a black beach cruiser pulled up behind the 25-year-old woman at about 10 a.m. Tuesday and asked for the time, according to police.

"It was a ploy, apparently," said Lt. Greg Scott.

As she checked the time, the woman slid the purse strap off her shoulder, and the man pulled the bag away from her, Scott said.

He then rode off south on Newport Boulevard and then east on Del Mar Avenue, still carrying the purse with cash and a cellphone inside, police said.

The victim, a Riverside resident, called police, but officers were unable to find the thief, Scott said.

He is described as in his 30s and about 5-feet-10 with a thin build, shaved head and a mustache.

— Jeremiah Dobruck

Twitter: @jeremiahdobruck