A taxi driver was robbed at knifepoint by passengers he picked up for a fare.
The suspects punched him in the head and threatened him with a knife before they took his cab.
The Chigwell taxi driver picked up two men in Broomfield Avenue, Loughton, when the journey turned sour.
When he was at the junction of Luxborough Lane and High Road, one of the suspects threatened him with a blade, at around 1.15am today (Sunday, July 8).
The other man then punched him in the head and the pair stole his car, a black Toyota Prius and fled the scene.
The first suspect is described as black, of medium build and in his early 20s.
The second man is believed to be black, slim and in his mid to late teens.
Officers are appealing for witnesses who may have information to come forward.
If you saw or heard anything, have CCTV, were driving in the area and have dash cam footage, or have any other information please call us on 101 quoting the crime reference number 42/96439/18.
Alternatively you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
A petition calling for Erewash cabbies to be allowed to have fully-tinted windows in their taxis has been rejected over fears that vehicles could be used to enable the abuse of vulnerable children and adults.