Eight people have been arrested in a police operation that foiled what could have been a major jewelry store robbery in West Vancouver.

Burnaby RCMP say they were conducting surveillance on several people when three men went inside the Birks store at Park Royal Shopping Centre and one of them pointed a gun at an employee.

The police moved in and arrested the would-be robbers without any shots being fired or anyone being hurt.

At the same time, other officers arrested five other men who were waiting in two getaway cars parked at the mall.

The operation was being conducted by the Burnaby RCMP Strike Force.

It's not known why the suspects were under surveillance.