Five men have been arrested on suspicion of drugs and weapons offences – following two police pursuits in Chelmsford and Braintree.
Officers were called to Wheatley Avenue in Braintree early on Wednesday morning – to reports of men acting suspiciously.
Suspects left the scene in a Ford Fiesta – which was then linked to a Mini Cooper.
The Mini was stopped in Great Leighs – two were held there after an axe was found inside.
The Ford failed to stop and eventually crashed on Chelmer Valley Bridge – the occupants escaped but were arrested shortly afterwards.
The group have been linked to cannabis cultivation.