A thief in Stockholm picked the wrong person when he stole a mobile phone from a bikini-clad woman sunbathing in the park, little knowing she was an off-duty policewoman. Mikaela Kellner was in Stockholm's Ralambshov Park when she and her friends were approached by a man who claimed he was selling newspapers for the homeless.

Ms Kellner's suspicions were roused when she noticed him lingering as he placed the papers onto their blanket. Picking up the papers, he left, just as one of the friend's realized her mobile phone was missing.

"There was no time, so I ran after him, maybe 15 metres or so," Ms Kellner told Swedish news site, The Local. "One of my friends is also a police officer, so we got hold of him. He tried to get away so we held onto him harder."

Ms Kellner posted a photo in which she is seen tackling the suspect to the ground as her friend restrains him. The photo has garnered 9,000 likes so far. The police officer said she wanted to use the image to generate awareness of the kind of tactics thieves use to dupe unsuspecting victims.

"I've had a lot of positive comments both from friends and colleagues," she told The Local. "It happens all the time that valuables are taken like this ... I mainly just wanted to raise awareness of how cunning these people are, almost like magicians."

Winning praise for her actions, Ms Kellner told Aftonbladet Daily she would have intervened "even if she were naked".

The stolen phone was recovered, and the man was arrested BBC News reports.