A quick-thinking California woman foiled would-be robbers by faking a seizure in a move she learned from the TV show Law and Order.

Julie Dragland, 32, of Oakland, was riding a Dublin-bound Bart train from Daly City at 4.50pm on Saturday when a threatening note was dropped in her lap.

"There are 2 guns pointed at you now," the frightening note read. "If you want to live hand back your wallet + phone NOW + do not turn around and be discreet(sic). Do not turn around until after you have left civic center + you will live."

Dragland, a PR Specialist at Sega, started "freaking out" and desperately tried mouthing the words "help me" at a nearby passenger.

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Unfortunately for the victim, that man completely failed to notice her pleas for help and got off the train.

It was then she remembered an episode from one of her favourite shows, Law and Order, where a victim escaped a mugging by faking a seizure, the MailOnline reported.

Dragland, a PR Specialist at SEGA, started 'freaking out' and desperately tried mouthing the words 'help me' at a nearby passenger. Photo / Twitter
Dragland, a PR Specialist at SEGA, started 'freaking out' and desperately tried mouthing the words 'help me' at a nearby passenger. Photo / Twitter

"I probably looked very ridiculous," she told the San Francisco Chronicle. "I slumped sideways and started shaking and crying. I closed my eyes and increased the vigour so people would pay attention.

"I think [the idea] had something to do with watching a lot of Law & Order. I think I saw that in an episode. I was very impressed with myself."

As Dragland began shaking and slumped over, a nearby couple came over to ask if she was okay. She then passed them the note.

The 32-year-old believes the mugger got off at the next stop, the Civic Centre Station, and suspects it may have been an older woman with a suitcase.

She called police who searched the station but could not find anyone matching her description.

"The victim was not sure who handed her the note, and did not see anyone with a weapon," police wrote in a report.

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Cops are now reviewing the surveillance footage from the train.

However, Dragland says she will not press charges against her mugger as she wants to put the attack behind her.