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A 29-year-old woman was kidnapped and driven from Auckland to the Coromandel Peninsula last night, with the offender assaulting her several times during the ordeal before she escaped.
Police said the victim got into a vehicle driven by the man in the Auckland suburb of Glen Innes, on the pretence that they would be going to visit an associate in a nearby suburb.
But once inside the vehicle - which was stolen - the man drove to the Coromandel Peninsula, keeping the victim in the vehicle for more than two hours and assaulting her several times.
The victim escaped when the vehicle ran out of petrol two kilometres from the Coromandel township, after managing to open the passenger door and freeing herself from the offenders grip
She ran to a nearby house, where the owners, described by police as a "very friendly and helpful couple", took the victim in and kept her safe until police and other emergency services arrived.
The vehicle has been located and seized by police for examination, but police are still seeking information on any sightings of a silver Subaru Legacy stationwagon - registration number BJY 539 - travelling from Auckland to the Coromandel Peninsula between 7:00pm and 9:30pm last night.
They are also seeking Brett Makiri - a male Maori, aged 23 years of slim build with long black hair. His whereabouts is currently unknown.
Detective Sergeant Jason Perry of the Waihi CIB said it was a "very serious incident" and the outcome could have been even worse if the victim had not managed to escape from the vehicle.
Any information can be provided to the Waihi CIB on (07)8638179 or via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 and given anonymously.