A man has grabbed two women on separate occasions in incidents police are describing as being of a "sexual nature".

On both occasions the women were running alone along a walking track between Sulphur Point and the Lakefront when a man - described as having bad teeth - appeared and grabbed them on their body in an inappropriate manner.

Both women were able to run away and were not harmed.

The first incident was last Wednesday at 5pm and the other was yesterday at 4pm.


Rotorua police crime prevention manager Inspector Stuart Nightingale said police were called immediately on both occasions but had not yet found the man.

The man is described as Maori, solid build, about 165cm tall, wearing black pants that change colour below the knee to a cream colour, and a light grey hoodie.

Mr Nightingale said both women described the man as either having gaps in his teeth or teeth in a poor condition.

"The behaviour of the offender is alarming and concerning to say the least and is resulting in women feeling unsafe when they are exercising. While the offending was limited to a grabbing incident, it could be an indicator of more serious offending."

Mr Nightingale wanted members of the public to be careful, particularly if on their own, and if anyone saw anything suspicious they should call 111.

"We would rather get called out to check on someone and be safe than be sorry."

Information that's not urgent can also be passed on by calling 0800 CRIMESTOPPERS.