A van driver was forced to pull over and his vehicle was then stolen in a rare on-the-road distraction theft in Redhill.

The incident happened in St Annes Way yesterday at about 8.30pm.

The van driver, who was at the wheel of a white Vauxhall panel van, was forced to pull over after a silver car with four people in it, suddenly stopped in front of him.

The driver of the van got out of his vehicle to talk to the car driver, but while they spoke, one of the other occupants of the silver car got out and into the van and drove off in it.

The van contained spare car parts. A Surrey Police spokeswoman said the victim was not hurt during the incident and was not threatened in anyway. Detectives are appealing for witnesses.

Investigating officer Sergeant Jo Horner from East Surrey CID, said: "At this stage in the investigation it is not known whether this is a planned or opportunistic offence.” Sgt Horner said: “Although we have spoken with a number of witnesses, I would appeal to anyone who saw anything suspicious, especially in the Princess Road, Station Road and St Anne’s Drive areas, which may connect to the offence, to contact officers with information.” Reigate and Banstead Neighbourhood Sergeant Simon Ward, said: "Incidents of this nature are rare in Surrey and local officers will be carrying out high visibility patrols in the area in a bid to gather information on who is responsible for this offence and reassure the public.” Anyone with information is being urged to contact Surrey Police on 101, quoting reference RB/13/3081, or to call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.