A woman was sexually assaulted as she locked her car in central Auckland on Sunday night.

Detective Senior Sergeant Glenn Baldwin said the woman had parked on Springleigh Ave in Mt Albert, off Woodward Rd, about 8pm on February 25 and was locking her car when the man approached her from behind.

He grabbed her and sexually assaulted her before running west down Springleigh Ave, towards Phyllis Street Reserve.

"The offender is described [as an] adult, of average build, 5'8" in height or possibly shorter with short hair and was wearing glasses," Baldwin said.

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"He smelled strongly of alcohol. He was possibly wearing a light coloured T-shirt and dark beach shorts.

Anyone who has any information or saw anything suspicious in the area is asked to
call Detective Constable Kim on 021 191 2657 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.