Quick-thinking Northland residents managed to stop a man as he drove away after he allegedly attempted to drag two females into his car at a remote location this morning.

Kaikohe police Detective Sergeant Greg Johnson praised the efforts of the local residents who came to the rescue following a frightening incident in Whirinaki about 1am.

Johnson said two females were walking home when they spotted a vehicle parked in their driveway.

The male occupant in the vehicle asked the pair for directions and then allegedly attempted to grab them and pull them into his vehicle.

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One of the females was grabbed by the wrists while the other ran for help, Johnson said.

Local residents from Pa Te Aroha Marae came to help and followed the man as he drove away.

The residents caught the man and held him until police arrived.

A 69-year-old man was in custody and undergoing a medical assessment. Police said charges were likely.

"Police would like to thank the local residents for their part in assisting to locate the offender and preventing the potential for any further offending," Johnson said.