ARMED robbers posing as police officers stole high-value computer equipment from a van near Heathrow, using traffic census stop checks as cover.
Last Monday night, a Silver Ford Transit van carrying a shipment of electrical components was stopped at a bogus census point on Stanwell Road, near the junction with the A30.
The driver and his passenger were sprayed with CS gas and forced out of the vehicle. One of them was threatened with what is believed to be a Taser.
The van was then taken by as many as four white men. Two of the robbers were dressed in high visibility jackets and caps similar to those worn by police traffic officers.
The van was later found abandoned in the Stanwell Moor area near Staines. The back doors had been forced open and the goods taken.
A dark BMW 5 series and a dark Audi A4 saloon are believed to have been involved in the robbery.
Investigating officer Detective Sergeant Ian Wilson said: "This was a well-organised and targeted attack aimed at a specific vehicle that the robbers knew would be carrying a high-value consignment.
"These criminals were not afraid to use violence to carry out the robbery and the experience has left the driver and his passenger very shaken.
"I'd appeal to anyone who was in the area at the time - 11.18pm on Monday, November 9 - and who may have seen the false traffic census point being set up or the van being stopped by bogus police officers to come forward."