Police have arrested a 22-year-old Surrey man accused of pulling out a knife on the SkyTrain and robbing riders in broad daylight Tuesday morning.

The brazen robbery took place just past 9 a.m. as a train was pulling up to Joyce-Collingwood Station in East Vancouver.

“There was someone standing with a knife gesturing toward people across from him yelling, ‘Give me your phones!’” witness Amber Cowie told CTV News.

“Then [he] just plucked them out of their hands and ran off.”

Transit Police confirmed a man and woman handed over their electronic devices after being threatened with the blade.

Const. Anne Drennan said after the robbery, the suspect crossed the platform and boarded another train for Metrotown Station.

Fortunately, the victims had already reported the crime and Mounties were waiting for him.

“When the train pulled in and the doors opened, the suspect leapt off the train and ran,” Drennan said. “Burnaby RCMP were in hot pursuit, and managed to apprehend the man.”

The suspect, a Surrey man who is known to police, was arrested and remains in custody. He faces charges of armed robbery.

Officers also recovered two phones and a weapon.

Drennan said the incident highlights the growing issue of electronics theft, which Transit Police tried to combat last year with an awareness campaign urging riders to keep devices close or even out of sight.

Cowie said witnessing Tuesday’s robbery was an eye-opening experience, and she plans to take extra precautions in the future.

“Afterward I had my phone in my hand and I was thinking, there but for the grace of God go I,” she said. “It could easily have been me.”

With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Maria Weisgarber