MASKED raiders brandishing sawn-off shotguns stole thousands of pounds from a Huncoat businessman as he returned to his home.
The 35-year-old had just arrived outside the house in Burnley Road, near the Griffin Head pub, with a 31-year-old business partner from Birmingham, when the balaclava-clad trio struck.
Police believe the robbers were lying in wait for the pair, who were returning from a conference in London, when they pulled up in the silver BMW X5 at about 5.30am.
They confronted the two businessmen with the guns and stole the BMW, registration number X5RBF, which contained a bag with a large amount of cash inside.
The pair were not injured but were left shaken by the incident.
The vehicle was found abandoned in Rochdale Road, Edenfield, later that morning, and a full forensic examination has taken place. Police said it is possible that the raiders could have been forced to flee after the car ran out of petrol.
Detective Inspector Mark Rothwell, who has been leading the investigation, said: "Inquiries are continuing but it appears that the offenders were lying in wait for the victim. This man has clearly been targeted by these people. It was not a spontaneous incident."
The surrounding area was cordoned off in the hours following the robbery last Thursday morning and a fingertip search was carried out.
Officers have been involved in house-to-house inquiries in the Burnley Road area and are looking at CCTV footage.
DI Rothwell said: "It may well be that they have been in the area before carrying out a reccy, so if anybody saw anything suspicious in the days before, if anybody has seen three men or anybody hanging round the vicinity in the early hours of the morning or acting suspiciously we want to hear from them."
The three raiders were all wearing balaclavas and dark clothing and one was described as having a Manchester accent.
Anyone with information should contact Accrington CID on 353740 or Crimestoppers, free and in confidence, on 0800 555 111.