04/26/06 2:55 PDT

San Rafael police said today that robbers are targeting day laborers in the San Rafael and Novato area.

Police said the suspects are picking up day laborers under the ruse of providing work then driving the victims to a secluded area where they are robbed of their cash and wallets at knifepoint.

One victim was picked up by two Hispanic men in a black Ford Ranger with large tires on April 18 around 12:30 p.m. at the Home Depot on Shoreline Parkway in San Rafael, police said.

The driver of the Ford Ranger was 5 feet 6 inches, 180 pounds with a heavy build and his passenger was 5 feet 1 inch, 120 pounds with a slight build, police said. Both men spoke with accents.

The passenger had black hair and brown eyes and a fresh cut across his nose. He was armed with a straight blade knife and sat in the back seat with the victim, police said.

Two other victims were picked up by two Hispanic men in a gray four-door SUV, possibly a Jeep Cherokee, on April 22 at 11 a.m. near Marin Square, police said.

The vehicle was missing the left rear door handle and had the No. 14 in the license plate. The suspects are between 20 and 25 years old, 5 feet 8 inches and 180 pounds. Both suspects had shaved heads and one suspect had a goatee. Both were armed with knives and police said they committed a similar robbery an hour earlier that day in Novato.

Police will distribute community alert bulletins in English and Spanish to workers and businesses over the next few days to ask for assistance in identifying the suspects.