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Police say the man was caught on CCTV inside Stirling Sports in Whakatane about 11pm on Sunday.
It is thought the same person - who has a distinctive tattoo on his neck by his left ear - is responsible for a number of commercial burglaries and has used an axe and other weapons to break into buildings.
People with information should call Whakatane Police on (07) 308 5255 or leave an anonymous tip with Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.