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A citizen's arrest is a formal arrest by a citizen has no official government authority to make such an arrest as an agent of the government. The California Penal Code gives any citizen the right to make a citizen's arrest of another citizen in three alternative situations: A public offense was committed or attempted in the citizen's presence; The person arrested has committed a felony, although not in the citizen's presence; A felony has been in fact committed and the citizen has reasonable cause for believing the person arrested has committed it.

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