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A police spokesperson said they were alerted to a report of a theft at a commercial premises just before 4:30pm.
A 38-year-old man left the scene in a vehicle, which was stopped by police nearby.
The man fled on foot but was apprehended soon after on the corner of North Road and Frame Street.
A large contingent of officers rallied in the valley and closed off streets while a search for the man was carried out.
Officers were armed as a precaution, the spokesperson said.
The man was wanted on other matters and will appear in the Dunedin District Court tomorrow.
Charges are still to be finalised.