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A man who was snapped on a security camera after removing his balaclava while trying to hack into a safe in Queenstown has been arrested.

The man, a 21-year-old local apprentice, was identified after police put images of him on social networking website Facebook.

Click here to see the footage on Facebook

The images were also splashed around various news websites and newspapers.

Queenstown police said they were grateful to those who had assisted them with their "first Facebook arrest".

Police said the man, armed with an angle grinder, entered the building early this morning through the roof of an adjoining premises.

"When he became too hot, he removed his balaclava. After eventually having no luck he has a good look around before packing up and leaving - and looks right past the hidden security camera in the process."

The man allegedly entered the Frankton Arms Tavern through a roof early yesterday armed with an angle grinder, but made the error of taking off the balaclava, apparently after getting too hot.

Constable Sean Drader said afterwards: "I've never met a burglar that I thought was bright. I'm pretty sure someone will recognise him."

The arrested man is due to appear in Queenstown District Court on January 14 to face charges over the break-in.

- NZPA