A woman was grabbed by a teenager while walking her dog in Napier.

Hawke's Bay Police are looking for the young man responsible for the sexually motivated incident.

Detective Sergeant Darren Pritchard said the woman was walking her dog when she was grabbed from behind in Norfolk St in Tamatea about 4.45pm on Monday.

The young man, believed to be about 15 grabbed at the woman before running away.

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He is described as having a thin build with dark skin. He was wearing a black top and shorts, black Nike shoes and white ¾ length socks.

"Someone in our community will know this youth," Mr Pritchard said. He was seen in the area before the incident happened.

Mr Pritchard said it was also a timely reminder for people to consider their personal safety when you are out and about.