An attempted armed robbery at a minimart was interrupted when a patrolling deputy became suspicious

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An attempted armed robbery at a Tulare County minimart was interrupted when a patrolling deputy became suspicious, the sheriff’s office said.

The frantic scene Tuesday night, caught on surveillance video, started at 9:49 p.m. at Valley Fuel Plainview Market.

The sheriff’s report said a deputy was driving along the edge of the farming community of Plainview when he saw a car pulling into the market’s lot and realized it matched the description of a recently carjacked vehicle.

Just as the deputy entered the lot and turned on his SUV’s flashing lights, a person in a hooded sweatshirt jumped from the back seat of the car and ran toward the store, the video shows.

His companions apparently saw the deputy: They scrambled back into the car and began pulling out. The video inside the store shows the hooded person make a sudden about-face and sprint outside.

The deputy reportedly chased the car for several minutes, “but stopped because of the driver’s extreme actions and danger to the public,” the sheriff’s report said.

The car was spotted shortly afterward, 8 miles away in Porterville, and three suspects were taken into custody after a chase on foot. They were teenage males, two of them under 18, the sheriff’s office said.

A search of their homes in Terra Bella, south of Porterville, turned up evidence of involvement in robberies, the sheriff’s office said. Specific charges were not released as of Wednesday.

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