A POLICE helicopter scoured an area over the M6 in Cumbria and Lancashire last night to track a suspected vehicle thief who had fled on foot.

Cumbria Police were notified by police in Scotland that two HGV tractor units had been stolen in Glasgow shortly before 7pm and were heading south.

For a time, the search centred on the Junction 37/ Sedbergh turn-off area.

Cumbria's road traffic police and dog teams were also involved in the hunt.

Police said one of the units was found abandoned a mile north of Junction 35/Carnforth in Lancashire with the offender suspected to have made off on foot.

Cumbria Police said the other stolen unit remains outstanding and no arrests had been made.

The investigation is now being handled by Lancashire Police and their colleagues in Scotland, said a spokeswoman, who said enquiries are ongoing.

The National Police Air Service based at Barton, Greater Manchester, confirmed today it was involved in the search.

The NPAS said it had assisted in the search for a man who 'abandoned' an alleged stolen motor vehicle on the M6.

The helicopter is part of the Greater Manchester Police Air Support Unit and covers the North West.

It is part of the new National Police Air Service launched in the North West in January 2013 .