FOUR police cars, two fire engines, two ambulance vehicles and a helicopter were called to Northwich after a man jumped into the River Weaver to escape police, the Guardian understands.

A helicopter began circulating the area near Navigation Road around 2pm this afternoon and residents said four police cars arrived at a similar time.

An ambulance vehicle arrived shortly after and parked at the bank of the river on the Canal and River Trust site.

Two fire engines then arrived and were led along the bank of the river by a trust worker.

Onlookers gathered on Yarwood Close as emergency services attempted to get a man, who had jumped into the river near the viaduct, out of the water.

One onlooker said: “My mum said she saw a man running past her house, he was being chased by police and then jumped in the water to hide from them.

“He only had a t shirt on and was in there for more than half an hour, he must have hypothermia.”

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service were called at 1.42pm to what was reported as a man stuck on a bridge over the River Weaver. Crews from Northwich, Winsford and Knutsford attended.

A spokesperson said: “The incident took place close to Weir Street in the town centre. When the crews arrived they found the man stranded under the bridge.

“A firefighter wearing special height safety equipment got to the man via a ladder. He was then rescued to a safe position. It was then over to the police.”

The man was retrieved from the river and appeared to be wearing jeans, a tracksuit hoody and a hat.

He was led away by police and members of the ambulance service.

A police spokesperson added: “On Friday, February 21 police received reports of a theft from a property in Darwin Street, Northwich.

“An investigation was launched and enquiries led officers to another address in the town. Whilst at the address a man fled the scene.

“He was later located in the River Weaver nearby. Emergency services attended the scene and the man was successfully rescued from the water at 2.20pm.

“He was taken to hospital to be checked over and has since been discharged.

“A 25-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of theft - he remains in custody at this time and is helping police with their enquiries."