Police in Vancouver, B.C., have issued a public warning after two women were sexually assaulted early on Canada Day morning.

Both were assaulted within minutes of each other in the city's West Side, police say.

The first victim, a 28-year-old, was walking down 7th Avenue near Vine Street when an unknown attacker grabbed her from behind, threw her to the ground and groped her repeatedly. She managed to fight him off, and he fled east.

The suspect was described as a 5-10 tall man with a medium build who was wearing a black hoodie and black gloves.

About 15 minutes later, a 23-year-old woman was assaulted while walking alone on Vine Street. A man grabbed her from behind, covering her mouth with his hand, and pushed her to the ground and groped her.

She described her attacker as a 5-7 tall Caucasian man with a stocky build who was wearing a red T-shirt. He, too, fled east along 7th Avenue.

Police believe the incidents are related, and are searching for a suspect. They've set up a tip line at 604-717-2648.