THIS is the moment two thieves stole a rare Mercedes car worth £50,000.

Essex Police has released CCTV footage in an attempt to trace a man and woman who are believed to have stolen the car from an underground car park in Westcliff.

Its owner Stephen Habermel is also offering a £10,000 reward for the safe return of his pride and joy.

The car, a red Mercedes 280sl automatic, which is often referred to as a Pagoda, with a registration of FWB 743H, was stolen from the car park underneath Hamilton Grange in Crowstone Avenue sometime between 4am and 4.30am on Saturday, April 5.

Essex Police officers have only now released the footage with the hope people will come forward with information about the theft or the suspects in the film.

(Scroll down to watch the film)

Pc Ian Hopgood said: "The CCTV cameras show a man and a woman enter the car park, take the cover off the vehicle and then drive it away.

“It’s not the best footage as it is quite grainy. However, I would urge people to view the film.

“They may recognise the people or it may jog their memories into remembering anything that they may have seen in the days leading up to, and after, the theft.”

Its owner Stephen Habermel said: “Owning a car like this was something of a boyhood dream for which my wife Tracy and I worked hard for a number of years.

“We never went far but enjoyed taking the car out in the summer when the weather was fine.

“It was heart-breaking to watch the car being stolen by a man and a woman on the CCTV footage and I would appeal to anyone who may recognise them or saw anything to get in touch with the police or Crimestoppers.

“Any information, no matter how small, could just help us to get our beloved car back and find those responsible for taking it.”

Anyone with any information should call Southend Neighbourhood Crime Team via Essex Police 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.