Two men have been arrested on suspicion of torture after allegedly tattooing the words "I'm a thief" onto the head of a teenage boy they accused of attempting to steal a bike.

Maycon Wesley Carvalho dos Reis, 27, and his neighbour, Ronildo Moreira de Araújo, 29, were arrested after they were identified by police after they shared a video online of them allegedly tattooing the 17-year-old boy.

The boy, who has not been identified, denies he attempted to steal a bike in the city of Sao Bernardo do Campo, Sao Paulo state, and instead just fell over while "very drunk".

In the video posted online, the boy can be seen on a chair, but is not tied down by the two suspects, with one of the men warning that "it's going to hurt".

The full words tattooed in Portuguese read Eu sou ladrão e vacilão, which translates to "I am a thief and a loser".

The teenager in question told Folha de S.Paulo newspaper: "I asked them to make the tattoo on my arm but they said they would do it on my forehead and started laughing.

"I begged them to break my arms and legs instead."

The family of the boy said he has a history with mental health and drug issues. They say they recognised him the video having been missing since 31 May.

He has since been reunited with his family.