Officers said the man had been drinking, and had become emotional after an argument with a female friend. He allegedly took out his frustration on the parking meter on Kimberley Street, shaking and pulling it until it was dislodged.
He then hurled the meter to the ground, before disposing of it nearby, officers said.
Police inspector, Chan Ho-ting, said officers launched an investigation after receiving a report on Saturday that the parking meter was missing.
She said their investigations led them to the man, who is a janitor, and he was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage.
Chan said the man is well-built and has the strength to damage a parking meter with his bare hands, but she said police believed the alleged actions were not premeditated.
Police said the meter is worth HK$10,000.