NORTH ADAMS — Two people were arrested on Tuesday after a cross-county episode that begin in North Adams and ended with a dramatic state police manhunt in the East Street area of Pittsfield.

The incident apparently began as a case of merchandise return fraud at Walmart Supercenter in North Adams, police said, and escalated into car chase through Adams and into Pittsfield.

The state police air wing and K-9 unit joined in the search with Pittsfield police, according to state police Trooper James DeAngelis.

Multiple state police cars descended on the area along the Housatonic River around Elm and East streets about 4:30 p.m. as a helicopter buzzed overhead.

Pittsfield Police Chief Michael Wynn said his department supported state police, and referred questions to that agency.

Adams Police Sgt. Matthew Wright said that police in that town also pursued the suspects in a "safe speed" chase for about eight minutes until they crossed into Pittsfield.

DeAngelis said he didn't immediately have any additional information about what prompted the chase, but would release it when it becomes available. 

Haven Orecchio-Egresitz can be reached at, @HavenEagle on Twitter and 413-770-6977.