San Francisco County Supervisor Scott Wiener helped police arrest a woman he claims robbed him of his new iPhone 6s.
The seasoned politician was on his way to the 16th Street Mission BART station Friday evening when he said he calmly negotiated with thieves.
"I took my phone out to look at my calendar and three people came up," Wiener said. "A woman grabbed my phone from me."
Wiener said he demanded his new phone back and the woman demanded $500 in return. They agreed on $200 and a stop at an ATM -- a stop he hoped would capture key evidence.
"I was just thinking I want my phone back and I want her on video so we can get her off the street," Wiener said.
The supervisor said the woman made threats as she and two men escorted him to an ATM.
"She showed me a black canister, said it was mace and she would spray me in the face if I did anything," Wiener said. "At one point she said one of the guys had a gun."
After Wiener paid the woman and got his phone back he flagged down police.
Investigators circulated a photo captured by the bank. Four hours later police arrested the woman, who they identified as Lasonya Wells, 40, of San Francisco. She was arrested on suspicion of extortion and robbery of a board of supervisor member.
While Wiener's plan worked, police said it was a risky move.
"My instinct once she grabbed my phone from me was give it back," he said.