Hunt for woman's abductor continues

The woman was grabbed as she walked on Haslett St in Eden Terrace.
The woman was grabbed as she walked on Haslett St in Eden Terrace.

Police are appealing to the public to help catch a man who brazenly tried to abduct a young Auckland woman yesterday.

The victim, in her mid-20s, was walking along Haslett St, Eden Terrace, just before 2pm when a man grabbed her from behind and dragged her into his car.

She managed to flee the moving vehicle, which she told police was a dark grey or silver medium-sized SUV, as it sped along Copeland St.

Detective Inspector Aaron Pascoe has told the media police now have a clearer picture of the alleged offender after officers took a second statement from the victim this morning and are investigating whether the case has links to any related offences.

Pascoe said the woman described her abductor as being a light skinned Maori or Pacific Island man, without facial hair.

She told police the man, believed to be in his 30s, indecently assaulted her during the incident.

He is said to be about 184cm, heavy set, and to have tattoos on both arms.

The man was wearing a red-and-white checked shirt, with a grey T-shirt underneath when he snatched the woman, police say.

Pascoe said police wanted to hear from anyone who has seen a man of this description.

He was driving a dark silver or grey medium-sized SUV, similar to a RAV 4 or Honda CRV, which had a very clean interior.

Investigators are still looking for the car and Pascoe said they believed it may have been dumped. He asked people to look for vehicles matching this description and to report any sightings.

Owners of similar vehicles who parked them outside their house should check they hadn't been stolen, Pascoe said.

The SUV was travelling about 40km/h when the victim jumped out. She escaped serious injury, but was highly distressed and was hospitalised.

"She is very very lucky she didn't receive more serious injury when she leapt from the moving vehicle,"​​ Pascoe said.

The woman has since been released from hospital and has spoken to police a second time. Police and Victim Support are supporting her as she recovers from cuts, bruises and emotional trauma.

Meanwhile, officers dropped leaflets into residents' letterboxes this morning and have been door-knocking Eden Terrace residents to gather information as they continue to make inquiries.

More than 20 people have called police to report information that may help with enquiries.

Auckland City police are assessing the information and following up leads, Pascoe said.

Residents and business owners had given police CCTV footage from cameras in the area. But police have so far been unable to find a photo or footage of the alleged offender's car.

Specialist divisions of the police, including the Criminal Profiling Unit, are also involved in the investigation, Pascoe said.

He asked anyone with information to call the investigation team on (09) 302 6558, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

- NZ Herald

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