The football game, which was taking place in Grebbestad on Sweden's west coast on Sunday, was interrupted after a player on the bench spotted a man leaving the changeroom with a bulging bag slung over his shoulder.
"Our guy scooted away after the dude and started yelling at him. He'd understood immediately that there was something fishy about the man," one of the players told the Bohuslaningen newspaper.
The game, which still had 15 minutes left, was abandoned by a handful of the players who gave chase, with even a few spectators joining in.
The suspected thief tossed the bag from his shoulder and headed for the forest, as a bystander called the police.
However, with a slow response time from the police, the players were forced to take matters into their own hands.
"We had engaged the whole society, everyone was looking for this dude. Eventually, one of our guys got hold of him down by the jetty in Grebbestad," the player explained.
"We kept him there until the police arrived an hour later."
When the bag was retrieved, it was full of wallets and mobile telephones belonging to the players, who were glad to be reunited with their gear after the hunt.
But it wasn't the only happy ending for the Grebbestad football club - the team won the match 3 goals to 2.