A man has been arrested for allegedly using a front-end loader to rip an ATM from the wall of a small Bay of Plenty town's bank and then take off down the street with it.

The brazen theft took place from the New Zealand Credit Union in Murupara in the early hours of June 3, with the ATM later found abandoned and intact in the nearby Kaingaroa Forest.

A 27-year-old Kawerau man had now been arrested and charged over the burglary.

The man faces charges of criminal damage, receiving stolen property and four counts of burglary.


He will appear in the Whakatane District Court on July 10.

The NZCU was already the last bank branch left in the town, but the theft forced it to close.

It led the cash-strapped community of Murupara to meet with the bank earlier this month and seek assurances it would reopen.

The credit union branch later stated it would install a new ATM as well as a free transport service into Rotorua to access cash while the repairs take place.