A woman was dragged "violently" into a vehicle by a man in Papamoa before escaping a short time later.

Sergeant Phil Gillbanks said police were called about 8.15am yesterday when a woman in her 20s was seen being seriously assaulted by a man and then violently dragged from the street into a vehicle.

The man and woman were later seen at a different location and police were again called.

Mr Gillbanks said the woman escaped from the vehicle a short time later. She was helped by a member of the public and taken to the Papamoa police station.

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The suspect was found by police in his vehicle in the Truman Lane area.

He ran across the Tauranga Eastern Link Highway back towards Papamoa.

Further information from the public helped police track the suspect to Papamoa Beach. He was found in the sand dunes and arrested.

Sergeant Phil Gillbanks thanked members of the public who assisted the woman.

Mr Gillbanks also praised people who helped police locate the suspect as he attempted to evade them.

Police would like to hear from any other witnesses who saw the man and woman travelling in a green Mitsubishi vehicle on Sunrise Ave and Parton Rd, between 8am and 8.45am.

A 29-year-old male is in custody and charges are pending.

Police are not seeking anyone else in relation to the incident.