Mounties have issued a public warning after a young girl was groped on the street in Surrey. 

The RCMP said the 11-year-old was walking down the 18800-block of 65 Avenue around 5:40 p.m. Tuesday when a stranger grabbed her on the buttocks.

When the child reacted to the sexual assault, the man "apologized and quickly retreated from the area on foot," Cpl. Scotty Schumann said in a news release.

The victim was not physically injured, but was upset by the incident. She went home and called police, but officers were unable to locate a suspect.

The man is described as Caucasian, 6-0 tall, and in his 30s. He was wearing blue jeans, a light-coloured shirt, and a light-coloured baseball hat. Police said he might have stubble on his face as well.

While the Surrey RCMP's Special Victims Unit investigates, police said the public can be vigilant by walking with friends, using main routes instead of secluded areas, and telling people where they are going and when they will be back.

Young people are also advised to trust their instincts, and to phone home if their plans change or if they are going to be delayed.

Anyone with information on the sexual assault can contact the Surrey RCMP detachment at 604-599-0502, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.