Three men are being held over the attempted murder of a van driver who was stabbed as he confronted thieves, police said.
The men - two 23-year-olds and one aged 21 - were arrested yesterday after the early hours attack in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear.
The 43-year-old victim is fighting for his life after suffering multiple stab wounds as he tried to stop thieves breaking in to his Ford Escort van.
The man, who was not identified, was attacked in the Birtley area of the town.
A Northumbria Police spokesman said: "Police are appealing for witnesses following a disturbance in Gateshead.
"At around 2.17am, police received reports that a 43-year-old man had been stabbed as he tried to apprehend three people who were breaking in to his Ford Escort van in Selkirk Crescent, Birtley.
"He suffered several stab-type wounds to his torso and was taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Gateshead, where he is being treated for potentially life-threatening injuries.
"Three local men, two aged 23 and one aged 21, have now been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder."