A violent daylight robbery on the streets of San Francisco was foiled when plain-clothed police were captured on CCTV coming out of nowhere to stop the armed crooks.
Home security footage of the inner-city street shows a carload of men reverse into a parking space on Saturday afternoon in the quiet street.
A small group of tourists were making their way down the hill when the men sprang from the car, brandishing their guns.
One tourist bolts to the street in the video uploaded to YouTube by Derek Pearcy, while the thugs thrash another around and try to take their bag.
The four robbers pick up belongings and grab the bag before jumping back in the car to flee.
Out of nowhere, a cop charges up the hill with gun drawn and pointed at the vehicle as it begins to drive away.
Seconds before the cop reaches the getaway car, another vehicle pulls up in front to block its escape – an unmarked police car.
As the first officer jumps at the crooks' car, his weapon pointed at the driver's window, anther officer comes down the hill while a third steps out of the cop car to make the arrests.
According to the poster, the police were lying in wait for the bandits to strike.
"We've had a large uptick in tourist theft recently, though mostly 'smash and grab' out of parked cars," they wrote.
"Really glad the cops were so vigilant this afternoon."