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However, Skybar director Daniel Taiaroa said the posting ''was obviously meant as satire'' and ''satire ... is not illegal''.
Skybar, sold by Goodbars late last year, reported the theft of the machine, allegedly stolen on January 26 or 27, to police on Tuesday.
That evening, the bar posted two images, taken from CCTV cameras, of the alleged offenders.
Along with the images, the bar sent a message to the men via its Facebook page, using an almost verbatim quote from the 2008 film Taken, starring Liam Neeson.
By late last night the post had gained 230 ''likes''.
Senior Sergeant John Fookes, of Queenstown, described the posting as ''pretty unwise''.
''It's a threat to kill somebody. Legally speaking, the threat to kill or do grievous bodily harm to somebody, in most circumstances, is likely to be an offence.''
The maximum penalty for either offence was seven years' imprisonment.
Police had to look at ''all of the circumstances around it'', but ''at best it's unwise and at worst it's unlawful''.
''I would think that it's probably more of a matter of somebody venting their spleen a little bit, but technically, it's possible that if there was an identified victim, it would be an offence.
''My recommendation would be that it be removed and that anybody considering something with that same punch line at the end of it to think long and hard, because it's not really appropriate.''
He said an officer was sent to speak to Skybar management yesterday.
Mr Taiaroa said via email the posting received a ''huge'' public support.
The bar's CCTV footage showed the alleged offenders making two transactions before they took the terminal, which cost $1950 to replace and was ''completely useless to anyone but us''.
''As stated in the Facebook post, if the terminal is returned, that'll be the end of it. If not, we will pursue them,'' Mr Taiaroa said.