Two Whangarei football players performed a citizen's arrest after brazen thieves broke into their clubrooms three nights in a row.
Tikipunga Football Club treasurer Vicki Campbell said the volunteer-run club was at their wits' end after two break-ins on Wednesday night and another on Thursday.
"We're a non-profit organisation," Ms Campbell said.
"We struggle to keep our heads above water every year."
After a quiz night on Friday two football players and their wives had been cleaning up when they decided to stick around to see if the thieves turned up for a third night.
"They were down in the changing rooms and heard them breaking in," Ms Campbell said.
The men, who wanted to remain anonymous, managed to perform a citizen's arrest on one of the three thieves, she said. While waiting for police, one of the men was bit on the arm and received hospital treatment later that night.
"They were just shocked that they [thieves] came back," Ms Campbell said.
Whangarei police acting sergeant Dan Hale said a 19-year-old from Kamo was arrested and charged with burglary and aggravated assault.
Police were still searching for the other two men.
While insurance would cover some of the cost, the club would still be at least $6000 out of pocket, she said.
The initial break-in happened at about 2am on Friday morning with thieves breaking a window, breaking down the metal grill protecting the bar and stealing about $700 worth of spirits.
They then came back at about 5am, presumably to steal more, but were spooked for some reason, Ms Campbell said.
"They've run straight in and targeted the bar," Ms Campbell, who had seen the CCTV footage, said. "When they are running out you can hear the bottles clinking."
The glass had been replaced on Thursday and the metal grill bolted to the bar but the thieves were still not deterred.
Just 30 minutes after the club was shut up they returned and broke another window and stole a dozen large bottles of Lion Red and a couple of other bottles at about 10.30pm on Thursday.
"We just don't deserve it," Ms Campbell said. "Just because they've broken in for a couple of drinks and a night on the piss it's cost us a lot of money".
As a last resort, plywood had been screwed into the front of the bar.
While the club was hoping the break-ins would stop after the arrest, Ms Campbell urged the community to report suspicious activity.