RICHMOND -- Residents in Richmond are being warned to be aware of their whereabouts and be cautious about being outside at night after a man accosted one woman and attacked another on successive nights last month.

The second attack ended in rape, as did an encounter in June that appears to be tied to the same suspect, police said.

Police released two drawings of the suspect, described as a Hispanic male between 30 and 40 years old, approximately 5 feet 7 inches tall and medium build. He may be wearing a gold necklace with a gold cross, and each time was driving a white, four-door sedan, similar to a Nissan Altima, police said.

The suspect followed the victims in the car on Nov. 20 and 21, police said. On the first night, he followed a woman for a short time and tried unsuccessfully to coax her into a car. That woman escaped, police said. The following night, he followed the victim, and after trying to coax her into a car, forced her into it with a knife and raped her, police said.

A third incident occurred on June 6, with the suspect again forcing the victim into a car and raping her.

Police did not give specific locations for each instance but said they occurred somewhere in North Richmond between 23rd Street and Wilson Avenue from west to east and Lowell and Barrett avenues from north to south.

Each instance occurred in a residential area between 5 p.m. and midnight, police said. All three of the victims were walking alone and were approached after the sun went down.

Police said that if women have to walk at night, they should do so with a friend and be aware of their surroundings. If they believe they are in danger, they should call 911.

Anyone with information on the cases is asked to call Detective Kevin Simmons at 510-965-4965.

Rick Hurd covers breaking news. Contact him in Richmond at 510-262-2728 and follow him at Twitter.com/3rderh.