Three men found hiding in a shed and bushes after burgling a house in Horsham and forcing police off the road in a high-speed pursuit have been jailed.
Police said Kieron Everitt, 31, unemployed, of Ferry Lane, Guildford; Daniel Rogers, 25, a cleaner, of Findon Way, Broadbridge Heath; and Timothy Wirtz, 28, unemployed, of Elm Grove, Horsham, were sentenced to a total of almost 12 years in prison for a night-time burglary and 80mph pursuit across the district.
Police said Rogers and Everitt broke into a house in Monks Gate in the early hours of March 30 while the owners were asleep.
The pair stole multiple items including a TV, a coffee machine and champagne as well as car keys to a VW Polo and Range Rover, both parked outside.
Rogers drove the Polo into Horsham town centre where he picked up Wirtz. Both cars then drove off.
Police said the VW collided with another vehicle as the trio made their way down Stane Street, in Pulborough.
The car was then abandoned and stolen property in the back of the vehicle was moved into the Land Rover, being driven by Everitt.
Police pursued the vehicle in an hour-long cat-and-mouse chase through the district before the car was spotted by road policing officers in Guildford Road, Horsham.
The Range Rover reached speeds of up to 80mph in 30mph zones and Everitt made two failed attempts to reverse into the police car, a police statement said.
As the pursuit continued into Robin Hood Lane, Warnham, officers said he again reversed, forcing the police car off the road.
The car was later found abandoned in Findon Way, Broadbridge Heath.
Following a search, police dog Vinnie sniffed out the three offenders who were hiding in a shed and garden bushes in Findon Way. Strewn across the garden floor and inside the shed were the stolen items.
No officers were injured in the incident.
All three pleaded guilty to multiple offences and were sentenced at Hove Crown Court on Thursday (August 3), police said.
Everitt was jailed for five-and-a-half years - 54 months for burglary and theft, 12 months for dangerous driving, plus 12 months for aggravated vehicle taking, driving whilst disqualified and driving with no insurance, to run concurrently.
Wirtz was given a total of two-and-a-half-years - two years for handling stolen goods, and six months for being carried in a stolen motor vehicle. He will also be disqualified from driving for 12 months upon release from prison.
Rogers was imprisoned for three years and eight months - 40 months for burglary and theft, six months for aggravated vehicle taking. He will also be disqualified from driving for 12 months on his release from prison.
Everitt was also sentenced to 48 months for burglary and theft and 12 months for aggravated vehicle taking, both to run concurrently with his five-and-a-half years, having admitted another burglary in Elm Grove, Horsham, on March 27.
Detective Constable Emma Dumbrell of the West Sussex Priority Crime Team said: “This was a determined attempt to escape arrest after a night-time burglary. Fortunately nobody was hurt but the actions of the defendants, Everitt in particular, were also irresponsible and dangerous, and that is reflected in the sentences they have now been given.”