A police helicopter was scrambled above the M6 on Saturday night in the hunt for a man suspected of stealing two heavy goods vehicles.
One of the stolen tractor units was later found abandoned north of junction 35 at Carnforth, from where the suspect is believed to have fled on foot.
But no arrests have been made and a second unit has not been found.
They were stolen from Glasgow at around 7pm with Police Scotland telling their neighbouring Cumbria colleagues the vehicles were heading south.
The National Police Air Service helicopter searched the motorway through both Cumbria and Lancashire.