CCTV footage shows man's brazen attempt to steal meat from Mad Butcher in Whanganui

A would-be thief appears to have been caught red-handed trying to steal some meat from the Mad Butcher in Whanganui.

CCTV footage of the man's brazen attempt was posted to Facebook by the store, showing him stuff an entire rump of meat under his jacket.

While he performed the not-so-subtle act, a staff member can be seen immediately beside him.

The man is then confronted by the employee, who refuses to let him leave.

"Yesterday one of our ladies was here to offer immediate help and service to a customer who had obviously forgotten to pick up a shopping basket for his purchase," the store wrote online.

"Our lady was able to let him know you don't have to put meat in your jacket and then she tried to guide him to the checkout as he didn't seem to know where it was."

The shop then posted a photo of the meat in question, showing it to be a "whole rump" valued at $122.

The store's owner Dave Tighe told NZME he posted the video "for awareness that, if you're coming into my shop, beware of my cameras because I've got really good ones."

He said he didn't plan to "name and shame" the man, because "he probably needs the meat".

In the comments posted online, many commended the actions of the staff member. 

"That is great work, hope she was well rewarded for her awesome efforts," wrote one person.

"Brave girl she definitely deserves some reward," another commented.

Some, however, warned that it could be dangerous to try and step in like this, with one person writing "All the nutters out there these days she could have been seriously hurt!"

Others felt sympathy with the man. 

"My bad but I felt bad for him - obviously he must be desperate to do that, hope he gets blessed with the help he needs," someone commented.

Replying to one comment, the shop wrote on Facebook that there were procedures in place for staff members to ring a bell when they witnessed suspicious behaviour. In this case, though "the adrenaline got the better of her and she just had to do something quickly."

The shop added: "Not recommending doing this. But sometimes you just go on instinct and I probably would have done the same thing myself. At the end of the day, he shouldn't be stealing meat - we all work hard here to earn a living we shouldn't have to put up with this."