TAXI drivers are being warned to be vigilant after two cabbies’ takings were snatched by masked robbers in the space of a few days.

The first victim was approached in Dockfield Avenue, Dovercourt, by a man wearing a hooded top and a balaclava at 4am on New Year’s Day.

He snatched the driver’s cash bag and ran off.

A second taxi driver was targeted in Abbott Road, also in Dovercourt.

on Sunday, at 2.50am.

He was approached by two men, who snatched his takings bag and ran off towards Laurel Avenue.

Cabbie Tony Colbourne said the robberies made it a worrying time for drivers.

He said: “I have a camera in my car, but if they put a hoodie on, their face is disguised.

“I know one of the lads who was robbed and he is one of the nicest drivers. It’s very worrying.”

Mr Colbourne, who is also a Tendring councillor, said he thought crime was on the rise in the town.

He added: “My father had a taxi company and he never had anything like this. People are so skint, and January is going to be very, very bad for people.”

Michael Felgate, who drives for cab firm A2B, said: “It is worrying. We haven’t had these problems in the past.

“People know drivers are going to finish late and will have money on them.

“All we can do is advise drivers not to keep as much money in their bags.”

Anyone with any information about either incident is asked to call PC Chris Coyles at Harwich police