Dramatic scenes unfolded in Lancashire last night (April 22) after armed police responded to reports of men wielding firearms.
Lancashire Police tasked its ARV team (armed response) with intercepting the suspect car at around 8pm after members of the public reported seeing around five men take off from an address with guns.
A police helicopter from Manchester was launched to assist in locating the vehicle and the dog unit was also deployed.
The car was soon identified and tracked by the helicopter before armed officers forced the vehicle to a stop.
But after apprehending the men, officers discovered that the weapons were actually two plastic BB guns.
Officers searched the vehicle and also found a balaclava in the car.
Five people were placed under arrest.
A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: "A call was received of males in possession of a firearm. A vehicle stop was initiated and five people arrested.
"Two realistic looking BB guns and a balaclava were recovered from the car."
Lancashire Police's ARV team tweeted: "We can’t take chances so be sensible with your BB Guns!"
Assistant Chief Constable Terry Woods, of Lancashire Police, said he had been kept informed of the operation as it unfolded.
He said: "A good job - it was worth being woken up whilst on call to hear the end result on the radio.
"Well done to the team and Tactical Firearms Commander."