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Blaine Ross Hughes, 20, of Washdyke, was arrested without incident in Timaru just after 6am today after information was received from a member of the public, Detective Senior Sergeant Marion Neill said.
He was in an Isuzu Bighorn vehicle which had been reported stolen earlier in the week.
He appeared in the Timaru District Court this morning on charges of unlawful taking and injuring with intent to injure, and was remanded in custody until later this month.
Further charges were likely, Ms Neill said.
"Police are grateful for the assistance of the public in helping us to locate this man.''
A police investigation was launched on Tuesday after the young girl was grabbed and dragged off her bike and into bush by a man at Washdyke, near Timaru.
The alleged abduction attempt was stopped by a nearby resident who saw the attack and went to the girl's aid.