DETECTIVES are investigating two incidents in which the victims were threatened with a man armed with a knife.
A 42-year-old man got off a train at Debden train station and was walking in an alleyway off Schoolhouse Gardens, Loughton, when was approachred at about 6.15pm on Friday February 3.
The suspect threatened him with a knife and demanded his wallet. But the victim struck him with his umbrella and he ran off empty handed into Lucton Mews, towards a nearby field.
He was described as aged in his late teens to early 20s, black, about 6ft tall and of medium build. He wore a black hooded top with the hood up, a grey scarf covering his face and dark coloured tracksuit bottoms.
At 6.50pm the same evening, a 34-year-old man left Debden train station and was approached by a man with a knife in Cedar Drive.
The suspect demanded his black leather Mulberry wallet and ran off with it.
He was described as being of mixed heritage, aged about 17 or 18 years old, of slight build, with black curly hair. His face was covered and he wore a dark hooded top.
Detectives believe both incidents are linked.
They are appealing for witnesses who saw what happened or saw the suspect at the train station around the time of the incidents.
They would also like to speak to anyone who has CCTV footage covering these areas.
Contact Loughton CID on 101 or report online at www.essex.police.uk/do-it-online
Alternatively, contact independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or www.crimestoppers-uk.org.
No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not have to attend court.