The symbol of Christ compelled him.
An attempted theft of jewelery -- to be precise, a crucifix -- led to the alleged thief begging for "mercy," according to the San Francisco Examiner.
A man walking across the 5200 block of Mission Street at 1:20 p.m. Thursday reported another man who "reached out and ripped the metal chain and copper crucifix from his neck," according to the newspaper.
The "crook" made his way westbound with his haul -- but the victim gave chase and caught up with him, according to police.
Punches were exchanged and the victim soon "took the suspect down to the ground" by the hair on his head, the newspaper reported. That was when he "begged for mercy," the newspaper reported.
The victim retrieved his chain and cross. The suspect fled, and the clump of hair the victim had in his hand was bagged as evidence, according to police.