Three men were arrested yesterday during a lunchtime holdup that sent several police cars, sirens blaring and lights flashing, to the busy 1300 block of F Street NW, D.C. police reported.

As shoppers and motorists looked on, police converged on Benson Jewelers, 1319 F St. NW, where three men apparently were ransacking the store and robbing store employes and customers.

Police said that after they arrived, one of the robbers jumped from a second-floor window and ran toward a nearby car. Police said he was arrested but the driver of the car sped off.

At the same time, one of the two men still in the second-floor shop surrendered while the other barricaded himself in a room, police said. Police said they later reached him by telephone and coaxed him into surrendering.

Two handguns and several thousand dollars in cash and jewelry were recovered.

According to police, the incident began when store personnel admitted a woman through the store's locked doors about 1:25 p.m. The woman looked at some rings and left, police said. But as she opened the locked door, three armed men entered and ordered the eight customers and employes into a store room. Meanwhile, the unidentified woman left the store, police said.

Inside, the robbers took cash and jewelry from the eight victims and ransacked the counters in the jewelry store, police said.