Masked gang rob motorist in Harpenden

A police van

A police van - Credit: Archant

A motorist was held up and robbed by a masked gang in the Harpenden-Batford area in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The victim, who was in his 50s, was driving a silver Mercedes C180 along the Lower Luton Road at around 12.15am when he noticed blue lights flashing behind him.

Believing he was being followed by a police car he stopped his vehicle, at which point he and his male passenger were confronted by the four masked robbers.

One of the offenders put his hand through the driver’s open window, before forcibly removing the car keys from the ignition. A second robber then searched the victim and an amount of cash was taken from his pockets. The other two men searched the passenger and also took money.

The four thieves were all male and wearing masks. They also had their heads and faces covered. Their car they were using was silver, possibly a Ford Fiesta.

The victim’s car was stopped near the Tesco Harpenden Esso Express store.

Both men were left shaken by the incident, but they were not injured during the robbery. The robbers drove off towards Luton.

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Investigating officer Det Con Mandy Davies from the Local Crime Unit at St Albans police station said: “I would appeal to anyone who was in the area at the time and saw a small silver car or drove past the incident to contact police with information.

“I would like to reassure members of the public that this is the only reported incident of this nature but I would ask drivers to remain vigilant. It is understandable that law abiding members of the public would want to stop for police, but we would stress officers would normally be in uniform. If you are unsure please remain in your vehicle until you can ascertain the person is a police officer.”

A spokeswoman for Herts Police said there has been a “good response from the public” with people sharing information about the robbery from the force’s Facebook page.

Anyone with information should contact Det Con Davies via the Herts police non-emergency number 101 or call Crimestoppers, the independent charity, anonymously on 0800 555 111.