A Gisborne liquor store owner has turned to social networking to catch suspected shoplifters.

In a bid to catch a woman who allegedly stole a $315 bottle of cognac, owner and manager of Liquorland Gisborne, Marty van der Velde, uploaded surveillance footage of the suspect to his store's Facebook page.

"The response has been amazing - it's gone viral," he says.

"We haven't identified the person yet but it's certainly getting out there."


Like Gisborne's central business district, Liquorland Gisborne has recently upgraded its surveillance system, enabling operators to zoom in on footage details.

"We've got brand new cameras. The quality is fantastic.

"You can really see this person and this is not a very big town.

"Even if it just stops her coming back, that would be great."

Mr van der Velde says there has been a recent surge in liquor theft, with two bottles of special edition spirits reported stolen by another retailer on the same afternoon, and a spate of "runners", where people "just bolted" with cases of alcohol.

"It has been so bad that we are upgrading surveillance systems at our other three stores, the Red Door at Ballance Street, Kaiti and Elgin."

National merchandise manager for Liquor King, Morgan McCann, says shoplifting in Gisborne is sporadic but is "definitely more prevalent than in other areas".

"If I hear about a theft from one of our stores, much of the time it seems to be in Gisborne."