One man has been arrested and the police say they are sure of a second alleged offender's identity after the bare-faced - or bare-bummed - theft of tools from a Kawakawa shop.

This month a man, thinking he was not being watched, was caught on Kawakawa Hammer Hardware security cameras exposing his backside while concealing a 1m weed burner down the front of his pants.

A Kaikohe man has been charged with shoplifting an item costing less than $500, and will appear in the Kaikohe District Court on May 18.

The footage of the alleged shoplifting on April 10 was posted on social media, where it received over 12,000 hits.


Store owner Malcolm Francis said since the matter became public he had received ''incredible'' support from the community for being proactive in trying to protect his business.

Francis also said the police had been ''awesome''.

However, he said he was upset by one strong outburst on social media from a respected community figure slamming him for releasing the footage and accusing him of being ''racist''.

''That's totally uncalled for. Mainly though, everyone's having a good giggle about it,'' he said.

Another customer who was in the shop at the time had been taken aback when he saw the man doing a down trou. Thinking he was urinating, that customer told him to go outside to do his business.

But the cameras picked up all the action — the exposed backside and a man placing the tool down his pants.

Meanwhile, his suspected associate is seen chatting loudly to Francis at the counter, allegedly to keep him distracted.

It was when Francis saw the two men, who had arrived separately, raise their eyebrows at each other and leave that he checked the CCTV. Francis said the recent upgrade of his shop's camera system had proved its worth.


''They did just what they were designed to do. These things could pick up the picture on a postage stamp on the floor,'' he said.