A MAN who fled a Northwich property and attempted to escape police by jumping into the River Weaver on Friday has been charged with theft.

A host of emergency services were needed to retrieve the man as four police cars, two fire engines, two ambulance vehicles and a helicopter gathered near Navigation Road at around 2pm on Friday.

The 25-year-old man was rescued from the water before being arrested by Cheshire Police; he has been charged with theft and will appear at West Cheshire Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, March 12.

A police spokesperson said: “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 and charged with theft. He has been bailed to appear before West Cheshire Magistrates’ Court.”

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service got the call 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 Guardian was alerted by a helicopter circling the area, before the emergency service vehicles gathered on the Canal and River Trust site on Navigation Road.

Onlookers gathered on Yarwood Close as emergency services attempted to get the man out of the water.

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

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