The 29-year-old first tried to rob a confectionary kiosk at the entrance to the Warschauer Straße S-Bahn station in the east of the city at 2 a.m., threatening staff with a blank-firing pistol.
When a salesman bluntly refused his demands to empty the cash register, the frustrated thief fired two blank rounds in a futile bid to scare them into compliance before running away.
Passers-by ran in panic as the pistol-wielding man tried again at the next kiosk, where he fared no better. The 22-year-old salesman also refused to hand over any money and was also shot at ineffectually as the man grew steadily more irate.
He then ran into the station and tried to hide among passengers on a departing train. Plain clothes police officers arriving at the scene stormed the carriage with drawn pistols and met no resistance as they handcuffed the suspect.
No one was seriously hurt but police said the first store attendant was later treated for tinnitus, or ringing in his ears, caused by the noise of the shots.
A blank-firing incident triggered panic on an intercity train travelling from Berlin to Hamburg last month when a conductor asked a passenger for his ticket. The man was overpowered by other passengers before police boarded the train and arrested him.