Police searching for man after abduction attempt

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UPDATE: Police have located and charged an offender after a tip-off from a member of the public.

Senior Sergeant Mark van der Kley said a woman rung the Whakatane Police Station and said she had seen a car matching the description parked on Awatapu Drive.

The driver of the car had been pulled over by police half an hour earlier for suspected drink driving and was still in their custody.

Police placed the man back in his car and drove past with the 16-year-old victim. The young woman gave a positive identification on both the car and the man.

The man admitted approaching the young woman but denies her version of events.

The man has now been charged with male assaults female and drink-driving on a zero-alcohol licence.

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Police are searching for a man after he attempted to abduct a young woman walking home from tennis practice.

The woman was walking past the Allandale Superette on King Street around 9pm on Wednesday night when a white car pulled up beside her and a man asked her to get in.

The woman refused and carried on around the corner into Bridge Street, the man then drove around the block and once again pulled up alongside.

He insisted the woman get into the car and swore at her when she refused again.

The man then exited the car and attempted to drag her inside the car. The woman punched the man and was able to get away.

Senior Sergeant Mark van der Kley said the woman described the car as being small and white with round headlights and like a “modern version of Herbie the Volkswagen Beetle”.

Mr van der Kley said the car could possibly be a modern Volkswagen or a Toyota.

The offender is described as a chubby, Indian-looking man with a kiwi accent. The woman said he was around 5.7ft to 5.8ft in height or 173cm. He had short curly brown hair and was wearing a long sleeve dark top with black tracksuit pants and black work boots.

Allandale School Principal Drew Manning said he would be contacting the police about the incident to see what advice they can provide to keep students safe.

“I think it’s a good opportunity for us to reinforce keeping ourselves safe with our students and our community,” said Mr Manning.

“Its actually a programme we run every other year with the support of the police and it’s actually slated for week four of this year. Its quite shocking in our little community, we think it doesn’t happen here but unfortunately no one is immune.”

Police ask the public if they recognise the description of the offender, or know any information which may be helpful, to give them a call on 07 308 5255. Alternatively, information can be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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