Armed police and the police helicopter were searching for a man with a gun after a woman was approached in a Maldon car park.
The woman was in her car in the car park in Edward Bright Close, Maldon, when three men approached her and one tapped on her window.
She drove away immediately but later told police that one of the men had been holding a silver object that looked like a handgun.
An Essex Police spokesman said of the incident, which was reported at 6pm on Saturday: "Extensive searches were carried out by local officers, armed units and a police helicopter but there was no trace of the men.
“Enquiries are continuing.”
Anyone with any information should contact Essex Police at Maldon on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
See the Standard tomorrow for the full story.