Giovanni Schiavone, 30, and 31-year-old Antonio Costanzo were arrested seconds after robbing the supermarket in the Modugno area of Bari on Friday, Ansa reported.
A police video published on Tuesday shows the two running across the street, with one pulling out a pistol as he enters the supermarket.
Unbeknown to the thieves, an anti-theft police patrol was outside the store at the time.
The officers’ suspicions were aroused after spotting the two men rush into the supermarket dressed in motorcycle helmets, La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno said.
Police charged into the supermarket just as the thieves were making their getaway, pinning the robbers to the floor.
It took less than a minute for other officers to arrive, one passing handcuffs to his colleague which were promptly put to use.
Police recovered around €300 stolen from the supermarket till and the gun, which La Gazzetta said turned out to be a blank pistol. The two thieves were arrested and taken to the local police station.