After seeing two youths on a motorbike jump a red light and hit a £50,000 Mercedes at a junction on Sheen Road in Richmond on Sunday, Hardy sprang into action.
While the passenger on the motorbike was quickly apprehended, the rider – who attempted to flee – was pursued by the 39-year-old actor through gardens and a building site, described by one witness to The Sun as “like an assault course”.
The Hollywood-style chase ended with Hardy catching the youth, before checking him for weapons and looking at his ID.
Reportedly carrying out a citizen’s arrest before handing over the teenager to the police, one man who saw the chase told the newspaper it looked like he “switched into superhero mode”.
The Mad Max: Fury Road actor, who lives in the south west London borough, was believed to be walking down the road when he saw the crash take place at the busy junction.
A police spokesman told Sky News that the male motorcyclist was arrested on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle and the male pillion passenger was arrested for taking a vehicle without consent. Both were 16-years-old.
In a statement on Tuesday, Scotland Yard said: “The pillion passenger was detained by police a short distance away and was arrested on suspicion of taking a vehicle without consent and allowing to be carried.
“The rider of the motorcycle was detained by a member of the public in Church Road and then arrested by officers on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle and being disqualified from driving.”
Both youths were injured in the collision and were treated for non-life threatening injuries in a south London hospital, before being taken into custody.
Police are continuing their enquiries into the theft.