A schoolgirl was forced to scream for help when a man tried to abduct her today in Christchurch, detectives say.
The suspect attempted to grab the 11-year-old at a bus stop in Prebbleton at 7.15am, outside Meadow Mushrooms on Springs Road in Prebbleton, police said.
She saw a red car drive past her and do a u-turn before the man got out of his vehicle and tried to grab her and drag her with him.
The girl, who was on her own, screamed and, when another car drove past, the man fled the scene.
Police were hunting a suspect they described as approximately 1.83m tall, of thin build, scruffy whiskers and darker than "average" skin with a circular green tattoo on the left hand side of his neck.
He was wearing a grey hoodie with the hood up, black jeans, black shoes and black woollen gloves.
"The girl did the right thing by screaming, not going with the man and telling a trusted adult about the incident so they could call police.
"It is not known whether the red car and the man are linked, but police are keen to hear from anyone who saw the car or the man in the area this morning," Detective Sergeant Baillie said.
"This is a timely reminder for parents and caregivers to talk to their children about being vigilant and raising the alarm if approached by strangers by making noise, flagging down passing vehicles or pedestrians and reporting any approach to a trusted adult," he added.
Commanders have stepped up patrols in Prebbleton.
Anyone with any information is urged to call Christchurch Central Police Station on 03 363 7400. Information can also be provided anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.