A man wearing what appears to be a home detention bracelet on his ankle appears on security footage moments before a stolen vehicle is driven off from a Palmerston North car yard.

The theft of a 2006 Nissan Pulsar took place on Tuesday afternoon between 3.30pm and 3.55pm, according to sales yard You-Cars Ltd.

A pair of men, one sporting what the car yard company said was a Corrections tracking device, are shown wandering on to the Keith St premises.

They walk down a long driveway checking parked cars to see if they are unlocked.

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One staggers, struggling to keep his balance.

At one point the solidly built man wearing the ankle bracelet removes his T-shirt.

The pair briefly disappear out of camera range before a red car speeds down a driveway sliding to sudden stop.

The car is backed into a building before pulling out on to a city street.

According to a Facebook post by the car yard owners the stolen vehicle was recovered late last night and a man was now in police custody.

You-Cars Ltd praised those who saw the earlier plea for help on social media for their vigilance.

They said the sharp eyes and big response on social media made a difference.

"Agin YOU-CARS ltd would like to extend a VERY BIG shout out and thank you to al those that helped in any way. You know who you are!! If we can ever help you please don't hesitate to give us a call. Thank you (sic), " the company posted.

Police said a man had been charged with unlawfully taking a motor vehicle in relation to the incident and was due to appear in the Palmerston North District Court today.