A woman was "dragged violently" into a vehicle by a man in Papamoa this morning and escaped a short time later.

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

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

Mr Gillbanks said a short time later, the woman escaped from the vehicle and 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 Ln area. He ran across the Tauranga Eastern Link Highway back toward Papamoa.

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

Sergeant Phil Gillbanks said police would like to thank the members of the public that assisted the woman, in her 20s, this morning.

Mr Gillbanks also praised the numerous members of the public that helped police locate the suspect as he attempted to evade capture.

Police would like to hear from any other witnesses who saw the man and woman travelling in a green Mitsubishi vehicle.

The area of interest is between Sunrise Ave and Parton Rd between 8am and 8.45am today.

A 29-year-old male is in custody and charges are pending. Police are not seeking anyone else in relation to this incident.