Armed police descended on Arataki streets after a suspected drug deal sparked simultaneous police pursuits.
At least 12 police cars were seen in the area of Links and Concord Avenues, near Bayfair, between 11.30am and 1.30pm yesterday.
Tauranga police Acting Senior Sergeant Cam Anderson said a police officer had witnessed a suspected drug deal taking place on Links Ave.
Both parties fled the scene in cars, sparking simultaneous pursuits. The two cars were stopped after brief chases, Mr Anderson said.
At the scene, a woman sat against a fence while police emptied the contents of her car, including what appeared to be a stereo, onto the footpath.
Meanwhile, police dogs and armed officers patrolled the streets and searched properties while gloved police searched bushes and gutters along Concord Ave.
At one stage police used cars and road spikes to cordon off Lachlan Ave and a section of Crane St.
Uniformed officers and detectives entered a property on Lachlan Ave while dog handlers searched sections along Crane St, finding a car believed to have been involved in the pursuit.
A woman was arrested at the site the suspected drug deal took place and a car was searched. The search turned up a methamphetamine pipe.
Mr Anderson said the occupants of the cars stopped by police had warned officers of another man's involvement. Police then armed themselves as a precaution.
Mr Anderson said it later became clear the man was probably not involved or even in the area.
Two people were held by police. One was charged and the other was released, he said.
A Leander St resident told the Bay of Plenty Times she saw police stop a woman at the end of the road but another car got away down Concord Ave.
"We saw that one throw something into the bushes. I rang the police and told them to check the bushes," she said.