Police investigating attempted abduction in Auckland's St Heliers

A man had been following the girl for around 200 metres on St Heliers Bay Road. Photo / Google
A man had been following the girl for around 200 metres on St Heliers Bay Road. Photo / Google

A man has attempted to grab an 11-year-old girl on her way to school in Auckland, according to police.

Detective Inspector Scott Beard said a man tried to abduct the girl in St Heliers between 8am and 8.20am today.

"A man had been following the victim for around 200 metres on St Heliers Bay Rd.

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"When she arrived at school the man has come up from behind her and grabbed her. She has managed to break free and has run into her school."

The girl told a teacher about the incident, and police were notified at 9.30am.

Beard said the girl is not injured but is "obviously shaken by what has happened".

He said it is not known if the man had a vehicle nearby.

Beard said the man is described as having light brown skin, with brown/grey hair with a bald patch on top.

Police said he is possibly in his 40s, tall and of solid build. He has a cut on the top of one of his wrists and an eyebrow piercing above his right eye.

He was wearing a blue top with short sleeves and black pants.

Beard said many officers were making enquiries.

"We are currently in the processing of carrying out area enquiries, and will be seeking to obtain and review available CCTV footage in the wider area. Officers will be carrying out extra patrols in the area before and after school for the rest of the week to reassure the community," he said.

"It is commendable that the young girl told an adult about what has happened.

"Police acknowledge that any incident of this type is concerning to parents, but we can reassure the community that we are doing everything possible to investigate the circumstances."

"We continue to encourage parents to talk with their children about how to get to and from school safely and we also continue to encourage people to report any suspicious behaviour to Police straight away."

Anyone with information can contact Auckland City Crime Squad on 09 302 6832.

One parent said she was dropping her children off at St Heliers School just before 8.30am, and parents and the school community had been talking about the incident.

A nearby kindergarten had also issued a warning to parents to be vigilant when taking their children to and from school after the incident, she added.

One man, who lives near the school, said he was concerned to hear of the attempted kidnapping.

"It's pretty scary, especially when it's in your own community. Hopefully they find someone soon," he said.

Another parent whose boys attend St Heliers School walked her children to class just a few hundred metres up the road this morning.

"I've just had a chat with the boys ... it's a bit concerning because there's a lot of workmen out there at the moment and it's a busy time [of the morning] around the school - lots of people."

She said the road workers arrived outside the school to begin their day about 7am.

Last November, an 11-year-old boy was abducted and sexually assaulted in the West Auckland suburb of Ranui.

He was abducted by a man in a grey van after getting off a train at Ranui Station.

- NZ Herald

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