A teenager had a knife held to his throat during a robbery.
Two men, believed to be aged 18 to 20, approached three 16-year-olds as they walked in Alderton Hall Lane in Loughton, close to the railway bridge at 10.40pm on Friday.
The boys were threatened with a baseball bat and one had a knife held to his throat as they were forced to hand over their belongings, including an Armani bag, a wallet and an iPhone.
The attackers ran off before driving away in a vehicle parked in Alderton Hall Lane.
One of the robbers was wearing a distinctive blue hooded top with white stitching around the pockets.
The other was dressed in black but both had their faces hidden under their hoods.
Investigating officer Detective Constable Stephen Baker said: "This incident understandably left these boys very distressed.
“I’m keen to speak to anyone who was in the area at the time. I’d also like to urge people to be vigilant, stick to main roads and avoid taking short cuts.”
Anyone with any information about this robbery is asked to call Dc Stephen Baker at Loughton CID on 101 or ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111