TWO thieves who rammed a police car in an effort to escape from plain clothes officers have been jailed for five years.

Borehamwood man Mark Pettigrew and Stuart Gorham, of New Southgate, were spotted by officers throwing something into a stream in Cat Hill, East Barnet, on May 17 this year.

When they approached the pair, who had walked back to a nearby Audi A3, and identified themselves as policemen, Gorham panicked and revved the engine of the car.

He then rammed the police car as he worked the vehicle backwards and forwards trying to escape.

Eventually the officers managed to break the drivers side window and spray both men with CS spray to subdue and arrest them.

It was discovered the car had been on false plates and was stolen in a burglary in Richmond days earlier.

Officers also recovered the items thrown in the pond and discovered they had been stolen in a burglary that day in Esher, where goods worth £29,000 were taken.

A search of Gorham's Station Road home uncovered more items taken from the raid.

DC Damon Cotter, of Barnet CID, said: “These were two men who were desperate to escape from police. It was just good luck that no officer was seriously hurt during the arrest of these men. The Barnet crime squad officers were brave and determined.

“These two men are career criminals and have travelled throughout London and bordering counties to commit crime and make their detection difficult.

“But their attempt to live the good life, at the expense of honest and hardworking people, has failed and they will now face a considerable length of time in prison which they fully deserve.”

Both men were jailed for 18 months for handling the stolen Audi and were given another two-and-a-half years for handling the stolen property from the Esher burglary at Wood Green Crown Court on Friday.

Gorham, 32, was also jailed fo a further year for dangerous driving and banned from driving for a year.

Pettigrew, 26, of Theobold Street, was handed another year's sentence after pleading guilty to another burglary at St Albans Crown Court.