THEY should have been playing but instead siblings Max and Ruby Evans ended up as real-life junior cops when they helped police collar the bad guy.
The brave brother and sister team had been watching TV when they spotted a burglar snooping on a rooftop, near their Portobello home in July.
They alerted their mum, Susan, to the man – who was wearing a balaclava and bomber jacket – hiding behind a chimney stack on the roof of their neighbour’s house.
There had been a report of a burglary in a neighbouring house and police were in the street investigating – but failed to catch a glimpse of the culprit.
Susan said: “It wasn’t a very pleasant sight as it’s far too close to home and the man did really look like a burglar,
“The kids had been looking outside and they’d seen the police in the street. They just happened to look up at the roof and noticed the burglar trying to hide behind a chimney.
“We couldn’t believe it – the kids started to get really nervous.
“I went out into the street and told the police ‘I think the guy you’re looking for is up there.’”
A short time later officers arrested the man, all thanks to the dynamic brother and sister team.
Ten-year-old Max and Ruby, seven, have just received a special Certificate of Outstanding Community Service from Police Scotland, who dubbed them “junior police constables”.
Officers paid special tribute to the youngsters, visiting their school, Towerbank Primary, to present the children with the award.
“The police were so lovely with the kids and told them they had done really well,” Susan said.
“It’s great their efforts were recognised.”
During the school assembly earlier this week, the brother and sister also received a police hat from Portobello police station.
But despite being crowned heroes at such a tender age, the blushes of a schoolboy were not spared.
Max said: “It was really embarrassing having to get up in front of everyone at school, but we did do a really good thing.
“We were just watching TV when we saw the man.
“It was quite a scary experience because we were worried the burglar would see us.”
Ruby added: “It was just so amazing to be awarded in front of everyone.
“Everything was such an amazing experience, even though it was a little bit scary.”
Joyce Gilmour, headteacher at Towerbank Primary School, said it was “fantastic” to see the children’s bravery recognised by police officers.
She said: “They have set a great example and it was really exciting for them to receive this recognition in front of their friends.
“The whole school community is delighted for them.”
A police spokesman said: “Max and Ruby’s contribution to our investigation was invaluable and it allowed us to arrest the man responsible.
“By coming forward they demonstrated tremendous community spirit and proved why it’s so important for witnesses to come forward to police when they witness a crime.
“Congratulations Max and Ruby.”