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A Liquorland Cableways spokesman said the man entered the bottle shop on May 25 and brought about $200 worth of alcohol to the front counter.
He presented a credit card which required a signature, the spokesman said.
Then, in a "busy moment", the man is alleged to have left the Kaikorai Valley store without the payment being processed.
Anyone with any information is urged to contact Senior Constable Paul Kennedy or the anonymous Crimestoppers line.
• Snr Const Kennedy (03) 479-3902, Crimestoppers 0800 555-111.