A gang of robbers made off with a large quantity of cigarettes after demanding a man open his delivery van and then leaving him locked inside.

The van was targeted after it made a delivery to the Tesco Express store in Chantilly Way, Epsom, at 2.30pm on Tuesday, April 1.

On returning to his van, the driver was forced to open the rear of the vehicle from where a large numbers of cigarettes were taken by the robbers.

The cigarettes were loaded into a white van parked on the road behind the delivery van.

The robbers locked the driver inside his van before making off.

Police believe up to four people, who may have been wearing high-visibility vests, were involved and are appealing for the public to help identify them.

They are also interested in information about a silver Renault Espace which was parked behind the white van used by the offenders.

DC Hannah Millyard said: "This was an unpleasant situation for the victim who, was afterwards, locked inside the rear of the vehicle for more than 20 minutes until his shouts for help were heard.

"We believe the incident, particularly the part where the bags of cigarettes were loaded into a white van behind the delivery vehicle, was seen by a person in Chantilly Way who we would like to speak to."

A man from Thornton Heath has been arrested on suspicion of robbery and remains in custody while investigations continue.

The incident is the second reported cigarette robbery in the area since January.  On January 9, two robbers in balaclavas stole a large quantity of cigarettes from the back of a delivery van which was being unloaded as Sainsbury’s petrol station in Kiln Lane, Epsom, at 7.40am.

Anyone with information about the latest incident should call the police on 101, quoting reference 45140025361 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.