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Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni Fight Off a Thief — and Nearly Kiss — at 2022 Emmys

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Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni had to put their detective skills to work in an unlikely place.

On Monday, the two Law & Order: Special Victims Unit stars were in attendance for the 74th annual Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. All was going well until an unidentifiable person in an all-black outfit snagged an Emmy from backstage.

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Fortunately for the Television Academy, Hargitay and Meloni were on the case. The dynamic duo embarked on an epic police chase, using their TV detective abilities to capture the thief before hitting the stage, where they presented the award for lead actor in a comedy series.

RELATED: See PEOPLE’s 2022 Emmys Portfolio 

Before handing off the trophy to Jason Sudeikis for his acclaimed Apple TV+ series Ted Lasso, Meloni made a joke about how it was “pretty cool” that they caught the bad guy. Meloni, with the trophy in hand, then tried to pass the trophy off to Hargitay, who casually told him, “Oh, I’m good. I have two.”

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Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni speak on stage during the 74th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at the Microsoft Theater on September 12, 2022

Chris Haston/NBC via Getty

Continuing to remark on their recent Emmys-related police work, Hargitay and Meloni remarked on what a great team they make. The pair then leaned in to kiss but quickly pulled away to announce the category’s nominees, teasing the viewers who have long desired to see a romance blossom between their two on-screen characters.

Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni speak on stage during the 74th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at the Microsoft Theater on September 12, 2022.

Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni speak on stage during the 74th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at the Microsoft Theater on September 12, 2022.

Chris Haston/NBC via Getty

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Hargitay, 58, and Meloni, 61, began working together on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in 1999. Although Meloni left the series in 2011, he later returned to the franchise last year with his spin-off series Law & Order: Organized Crime.

Making an appearance together on the Emmys red carpet on Monday, the longtime costars and friends spoke about what it’s been like to work so closely over the year.

RELATED VIDEO: Mariska Hargitay on ‘Effortless’ Chemistry with Christopher Meloni: We ‘Never Once’ Tired of Each Other

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“It’s effortless, and it’s weird, and I always look at it as some sort of gift,” Hargitay said during PEOPLE and EW’s Red Carpet Live preshow, co-hosted by Janine Rubenstein and Jeremy Parsons. “So much of it has to do with our shared sense of humor, shared perspective, our now history.”

Meloni also said: “We’re very lucky.”

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The 74th Primetime Emmy Awards are being broadcast live on NBC from the Microsoft Theater in ‎Los Angeles.

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