A group of filmmakers staging a gangland scene in Luton without notifying residents or local authorities were branded 'idiots' after emergency services were called.
The incident took place on Sundon Park Road on Saturday afternoon when two of the group were spotted by a resident with what appeared to be firearms.
Police were swiftly called and a group of five men - all apparently film-makers preparing a gang scene - were stopped at Fourth Avenue and ordered to lie on the ground by armed police.
Nearby residents were less than impressed once the film production was revealed, with one branding the group "idiots" before adding that some residents thought it was terror-related.
One woman wrote on Facebook: "Why were local residents not informed of this, it has had a massive psychological effect on my parents who live in the area.
"My dad has dementia and is now more petrified than ever."
Another added: "The responsible and respectful behaviour would have been to inform residents and put notices up..."
A Beds Police spokesman said: "We were called at approximately 2.45pm on Saturday (7 September) to reports that two people had been seen with firearms in a black 4x4 vehicle in Sundon Park Road, Luton, travelling towards Marsh Road.
"Officers stopped and searched two vehicles, and a number of imitation firearms were found. It would appear that the incident was staged as part of a short film production.
"Five men were arrested for possession of imitation firearms in a public place and have been bailed."
Detective Inspector Grant Maxted added: “It is an offence to possess an imitation firearm in a public place where it could easily be mistaken for the real thing, and any calls to police involving firearms will be treated as genuine, until we can investigate and prove otherwise.
“We thank the members of the public who contacted us, and we understand how alarming this incident, set in broad daylight in a busy town, will have appeared.
“The people involved will now face the consequences of their actions.”