A man described by police as among Britain's most wanted criminals has been arrested in a vehicle carjacked from a young mother -- and found with her two toddlers still strapped in the back seats.

West Midlands police rushed to the Birmingham suburb of Erdington on Tuesday following reports of a burglary in progress. Minutes later, three men were spotted running from a suspected getaway car.

"One dragged a female driver out of a Ford Focus and sped away with her one-year-old son and daughter, aged two, secured in their child seats," a spokesman for the West Midlands force said in a statement.

The man was cornered by police about a mile away and arrested after a violent struggle. The Press Association named him as Cedric Brown, citing police sources.

The 44-year-old is being interviewed by detectives on suspicion of burglary and robbery over Tuesday's incident, and will also be questioned about a brutal stabbing and burglary two years ago -- which appeared on the BBC's Crimewatch -- in which a Bristol husband and wife were tied up and slashed with a knife.

West Midlands Police Sergeant Nicholas Barnes said: "Several police vehicles were in pursuit and the man abandoned the Ford Focus in South Grove where he was arrested by officers who then spotted the toddlers.

"Thankfully, neither of them was hurt and we quickly reunited them with their mum who naturally was extremely relieved.

"Officers responded to calls of the burglary within minutes?the suspects simply didn't have enough time to get away from the location before they were swamped by police."

Two other men, a 19-year-old from Perry Common and an 18-year-old from Bromford, were also arrested hiding in an alleyway and are being quizzed over the Slade Road burglary.