The crowd was anxious to learn the identity of a youth nabbed hours earlier when Kamala residents staged a citizen's arrest about 8.30pm.
But police, looking at the crowd, feared violence and fired a shot in the air. The crowd made angry objections and were still creating a noisy scene outside the police station at 10pm.
The Superintendent of Kamala Police Station, Colonel Patthajatz Jakkaphan, was about to catch a flight to Bangkok when he heard about the incident.
He cancelled the trip and headed back, requesting the telephone number of the governor.
As in many parts of Phuket, the residents of Kamala have become part of the ''1000 Eyes of the Pineapple'' campaign designed to improve safety and security.
An 18-year-old from Cherng Talay was spotted attempting to steal from passersby outside The Club. Residents surrounded him and made a citizen's arrest.
Some damage may have occurred in the process - the 18-year-old was taken from Kamala Police Station to Patong Hospital for treatment to injuries inflicted by the angry residents.