Light-fingered fruit stall patrons got more publicity than they bargained for after helping themselves to honesty box cash in the Bay of Islands.

Not only did at least four men mis-read the sign prominently displayed above the cash box - sorry lads, it doesn't say 'dishonesty box' - they also seem to have overlooked a sign warning would-be thieves of the consequences.

SIGN: These patrons of a Kerikeri fruit stall apparently could not read the sign, or the warning to would-be thieves. PHOTO/SUPPLIED
SIGN: These patrons of a Kerikeri fruit stall apparently could not read the sign, or the warning to would-be thieves. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

A well-positioned security camera at the roadside stall in Kerikeri has been photographing people as they help themselves to the honesty box.

Some are captured as they look furtively over their shoulders, others help themselves with misplaced confidence they can't be seen.

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Earlier this week the images were shared on the Northland Police Facebook page, where they had been shared 168 times by Friday and viewed many thousands of times. As of yesterday the men had not been caught.

Police urge anyone who recognises the men to call the Kerikeri station on (09) 407 9211 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.