A raider ran out of a jewellery shop wearing a £600 gold chain, chased by the furious shopkeeper.
Drama unfolded after two men went into RL Austen Jewellers, North Street, Chichester at just after 5pm on Monday and asked the manager, Martin Getting, if they could look at gold chains
One tried on a necklace and they tried in vain to grab the tray of chains from Mr Getting.
Both men ran off, one still wearing a necklace, with Mr Getting in pursuit, but he lost sight of them.
Police were in the area and after seeing the chase a man informed them he had seen two men getting into the back of a van.
Police stopped the vehicle 15 minutes later in Westhampnett Road and three men aged 20, 21 and 23, were arrested on suspicion of theft. All three were released on bail until August 28.
Mr Getting said: ‘I would like to say thank you to all the passers-by, and especially the gentleman who was able to give us the last two digits of the registration number.’
The shop has been the target of a number of attempted thefts over the years. Previous attempts have included a nail gun being used to attempt to shatter the front window pane, and an armed robbery.