A man was forced from his car by masked thugs in the street.

The victim was driving a white Vauxhall Movano van along West Thurrock Way, West Thurrock at around midday yesterday when his vehicle was approached by two others – another white van and a grey Vauxhall Insignia.

The Insignia had blue lights on which gave it the appearance of a police car and so the victim stopped his vehicle at the Lancaster Roundabout.

Three men wearing masks then forced him out of the van and stole it.

Police are now appealing for witnesses to come forward.

An Essex Police spokesman said: “We need anyone who saw anything or has any CCTV, dash cam, or doorbell footage to contact us. If you have any information you can submit a report online at https://www.essex.police.uk or use the 'Live Chat' button to speak to an online operator between 7am-11pm.

“Please quote the crime reference number 42/120184/22. You can also call us on 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”