A man dressed in a cow 'onesie' was spotted stealing steak from a food shop in Nelson.

The incident, confirmed by police and the manager of Raeward Fresh happened on Friday afternoon last week.

The man, dressed in in a cow onesie, entered the store with two other people and stole porterhouse steak from the meat section.

The trio left in a red car, although witnesses were unable to catch the registration.

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The store manager said staff were alerted by a customer who spotted the shoplifter in action.

It was unknown how much steak was taken.

Because onesies were not an uncommon item of clothing, a police spokesperson said the offender was "probably not intending to look like the beef they were stealing".

- APN