Three men were arrested over the weekend when they were caught in the act of robbing San Francisco tourists at gunpoint, police said.
The brazen robberies occurred about 1 p.m. Saturday near Lombard Street, where plain-clothes detectives were trying to catch people breaking into vehicles. When the officers were alerted to an armed robbery taking place, they were able to detain the suspects within seconds of the crime, according to the San Francisco Police Department.
Surveillance video shows three female victims who had been snapping photos of Lombard Street walking along Filbert Street when the three men got out of a Chrysler sedan and approached them. One of the victims is shown struggling against a suspect as he tries to snatch a backpack from her.
"So (the suspects are) watching, looking for tourists, looking for people who might be vulnerable," said SFPD Officer Grace Gatpandan. "But we want to let them know we’re also looking out for where these criminals are."
The suspects got back into their car, but before they could escape, the detectives arrived on the scene and ordered the men out of the car. One of the suspects is seen being tackled.
Kordell Carter, of Santa Rosa, Pravin Lal, of Marin, and Lamar Fontenot of Antioch were arrested and booked into county jail on armed robbery charges.
"I mean, it’s terrifying," said longtime resident Samantha Ready. "There are so many tourists that walk through this area. I guess I can see why it’s a vulnerable spot. It’s horrible that it happened in the middle of the day."
Police said the gun used in the robbery was reported stolen in Louisiana.