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Constable Nick Turner said the man allegedly attempted to steal a box of Winchester ammunition and Hornady bullets from the Gun City, about midday on Monday, in Cumberland St.
When approached by staff member, the man ran off, but was located about 10 minutes later nearby in Princes St.
‘‘He immediately gave himself up — admitting everything,’’ Const Turner said.
‘‘The man is known [to police] as a prolific shoplifter.’’
The man was arrested and charged for shoplifting, he said.
A shop spokesman said no-one was threatened or injured during the incident.
Sergeant Karl Hemmingsen, of Dunedin, said the man did not escape with any ammunition.