Police are hunting an axeman who forced a university to go into lockdown after being spotted near a campus.
Students at Leeds Beckett University were told to stay inside following reports a man had a weapon near the Arndale Centre in Headingley at around 5:30pm yesterday.
A woman studying at the institution tweeted: ‘Accommodation is on “lockdown” because there’s a man running around Leeds with an axe : ) delightful.
‘We’ve been strongly advised to stay inside.’
The man allegedly used the axe to steal a bicycle after crashing his white van between Scott Hall Road and Sheepscar Street North.
In total three vehicles were involved in the road accident.
Police said he later abandoned the stolen bicycle close to St Chad’s Rise and then ran into the woods.
They are still looking for him.
Superintendent Lisa Atkinson, of Leeds District Police, said: ‘There is a significant policing presence in Leeds tonight searching for this male and we are very keen to bring this incident to a conclusion as soon as we can and as safely as possible.
‘No one has been seriously hurt and it appears the male has only used the axe as a means of stealing the van and the bicycle, but we would urge anyone who sees this male not to approach him and to contact police on 999, so we can locate him and detain him.”
The male is described as being white, in his thirties or forties, with a black beard and a flat cap.
He is also believed to be wearing a light coloured jacket and jeans.
Leeds Beckett University later confirmed the lockdown had ended, adding: ‘Following advice from @WestYorksPolice about an ongoing incident in Leeds, students and staff at our Headingley campus were asked to remain inside on Saturday evening.
‘After clearing the area, police left our campus and students and staff were free to leave.’