Three good Samaritans were rewarded with handcuffs for trying to help a robbed tourist on Friday night.
Two purse-snatching scoundrels stole a bag off a foreigner, whose shouts for help were heeded by three nearby Phnom Penh locals who immediately gave chase.
Police, however, mistook the hunters for the hunted, believing the three men were fleeing the scene rather than chasing the culprits.
The altruistic trio was briefly apprehended by perplexed police, giving the true thieves just enough time to make a clean getaway.
The victimised visitor came to the rescue of her would-be rescuers, explaining the mix-up to the cops.