Manhunt launched after suspect 'trying to steal car' jumps in Sandwell canal

Ambulance, police, and fire crews have engaged in an hours' long manhunt after a suspect allegedly stealing a car jumped into a nearby waterway to get away

The Walsall Road, next to Tame Bridge Parkway Station. The canal and River Tame are both accessible via the road. Photo: Google.
The Walsall Road, next to Tame Bridge Parkway Station. The canal and River Tame are both accessible via the road. Photo: Google.

Police were called to Tame Bridge Parkway railway station - which borders West Bromwich, Wednesbury, and Walsall - shortly before 3pm on Wednesday, to reports that a car was being stolen.

A police car was damaged by a vehicle as the suspects tried to escape, and although one man was arrested at the scene, a second man jumped into water nearby.

Despite a manhunt lasting over two hours, with police looking along the canal and nearby river, the suspect was not found and ambulance resources stood down at around 5.30pm.

It came after the mobilisation of a helicopter, and emergency service crews scouring the area around the Sandwell canal and the River Tame, which are in very close proximity.

A witness at the scene said: "He jumped the bridge next to the railway station into the river.”

Emergency services rushed to the Walsall Road, near Tame Bridge Parkway. The canal and River Tame are both accessible via the road. Photo: Claire Rolfe.

A spokesman for West Midlands Police said: "We were called to Tame Bridge Parkway Train station, Walsall Road, Wednesbury, shortly before 3pm to reports that a car was being stolen.

"Officers arrived and a police car was damaged by a vehicle as the suspects tried to escape.

"We arrested one man at the scene and he was taken into custody. A second man is being sought after jumping into a nearby canal.

"We are appealing for witnesses and for people with information to contact us via Live Chat on our website or 101 quoting log 2426 of 2 November.

"Alternatively call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111."

A spokeswoman for West Midlands Ambulance Service added: "We were called by the fire service at 3.15pm following reports of a patient in water off Walsall Road, Wednesbury.

"The Trust’s HART paramedics, two paramedic officers, two ambulances, a MERIT trauma doctor and critical care paramedic responded to the scene along with fire and police colleagues.

"No patient was found and ambulance resources were stood down at around 5.30pm."

Fire crews specialising in water rescue were also in attendance. A spokesman for West Midlands Fire Service said: "We were called at 3.07pm to Tame Bridge Parkway railway station to a potential water incident.

"Two fire engines and crew from our technical rescue unit attended - which specialises in water rescue."

Emergency services personnel were stationed at multiple sites along the canal and River Tame.

At least four West Midlands Ambulance Service vehicles were stationed on Andrew Road and Stanhurst Way, which make up the Bustleholme Estate in West Bromwich.

The estate has an access point to the River Tame, and a little further along, the canal.

A resident who saw the emergency services on the estate said: "It was unreal, I've never seen so many ambulances in my life.

"We were scared, because there were so many ambulance vehicles. The [air] ambulance was circling overhead and no one would tell us what was going on.

"All of that was for one person when there are so many people who need ambulances."

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