Outraged Ashburton residents have taken to social media to spread word of an attempted abduction, but police say they are yet to receive any major leads.
Community Facebook pages have attracted a swathe of comments condemning the man who tried to lure a 9-year-old boy into his car with lollies on Saunders St, near State Highway 1, on Sunday.
When the boy refused, the man - driving a green car - then approached him, but the boy managed to break free and flee home. He received minor injuries during the altercation.
Members of the Pay It Forward/Swap Ashburton Facebook page labelled the incident as "horrid, nasty and frightening".
"Hope the name and shame ths pers0n wen they catch them (sic)," one angered person wrote.
Another of the page's 1400 members said the offender was a "sick animal".
Senior Constable Chris O'Reilly said the scene where the attempted abduction took place was a busy area, and police were relying on the public to come forward with information.
But no-one had given police any leads, he said.
O'Reilly quashed fears that a serial offender was on the loose, saying police believed this was not linked to a similar incident also involving a green car on Ashburton's Harrison St in May.
The man has been described as thin, with dark features and short hair.
His car was green with tinted windows.
Ashburton police would like to speak to anyone in the area at the time or who saw a young boy on a scooter.
- The Press
Should doctors and patients be friends on Facebook?Related story: Doctors struggle to maintain boundaries
• Newsroom 03-943 2827 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
• Classified Ads: 03-3778778 or email email@example.com
• Display and Online Ads: 03-3648285 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
• General inquiries: 03 379 0940
• Subscribe to The Press
• Deliveries, subscriptions, holiday stop/starts: 03 364 8464, or email: email@example.com
• No paper or holiday stop/starts: action online
• Buy a photo
• Newspaper subscribers - register for the digital edition
• Make press.co.nz your homepage
Read Press extras for Avenues, fashion, home design and weddings
Births, weddings, engagements
Death notices and in memoriam