A bystander has described pulling a distressed 85-year-old driver from his car - unaware the elderly man had been stabbed and that his passengers were allegedly attempting to steal the vehicle.
Emmett St resident Pegley Lop was in his room when he heard a car horn beeping on the street outside his house.
Thinking it was friends coming to visit, he opened his window which looks out onto the street.
A car was stopped directly outside his house, with an older man in the driver's seat.
Mr Lop quickly ran out through the garage to the car that was now idling sideways across the middle of the street.
Noticing the man appeared to be distressed, he opened the driver's side door, lifted the man out, prying his fingers from the steering wheel. It was then Mr Lop realised there was blood everywhere and big holes on the tops of the man's hands.
"The neighbours had started coming out and called police and ambulance," Mr Lop said.
Police yesterday confirmed the elderly man was stabbed and two women allegedly fled in his car.
He was approached by the two women outside Westpac Bank on Chadwick Rd at about 3.15pm on Thursday.
The man was stabbed at the intersection of Mansels Rd and Emmett St, 500m away, leaving him on a grassy patch outside a house while they fled in the injured man's car.
The car was involved in a brief police chase later in the evening.
The man was treated and discharged from Tauranga Hospital later that day.
Another resident, who did not want to be named, said she was walking past the man's car when she saw him with two women. "I just got really bad vibes about it. I just thought to myself. This isn't good.
"I don't know why but I just got the heebey jeebeys and kept thinking oh no, this doesn't look good at all."
The elderly man had a look of apprehension on his face, she said.
"I should have acted on what I felt."
Neighbour Sue Lazarus said she noticed two young women through her kitchen window.
"I was making jewellery and didn't see anything. Then all of a sudden a cop car was here."
Another neighbour said she saw an elderly man sitting upright on the side of the road, while other neighbours and emergency services attended to him.
At first she thought he had been hit by a car.
A shop attendant from a store near to Westpac, who did not want to be named, said it was usually a "pretty calm" community.
"You don't expect things to go on under your nose."
Tauranga City Mayor Stuart Crosby said the incident was disturbing but it was not indicative of Tauranga as a whole.
"It's on the back of a number of burglaries recently, but I have confidence in police that they are addressing the criminal behaviour... We are a safe community."
Grey Power board representative Christina Humphreys said the incident was a concern for the elderly and urged seniors to vigilant by making sure they knew who they were opening their doors to.
■ Police have arrested two women and charged them with aggravated robbery and the wounding. The women appeared in Tauranga District Court yesterday.