Cedric Brown also admitted possession of an
A man who dragged a mother out of her car and drove off with her two children still inside the vehicle, has been jailed for five years.
Cedric Brown, 46, threatened the woman with a knife and stole her Ford Focus while fleeing police in Birmingham on 3 April 2012.
The car was later found abandoned nearby with her son, aged one, and daughter, two, inside.
Brown pleaded guilty to carjacking robbery at Birmingham Crown Court.
He also admitted to possession of an offensive weapon. He was given two five-year sentences to run concurrently.
West Midlands Police said Brown, of no fixed address, tried to escape from officers after he was seen attempting to kick down the door of a house at about 11:00 GMT.
At the time of the incident Brown had a warrant out for his arrest for failing to appear in court to face charges of serious aggravated burglary in Bristol in 2010.
After dumping his own getaway car, he pulled the 26-year-old mother out of her vehicle on Somerset Road in Erdington and threatened her with a knife.
He sped off with the two toddlers strapped into their seats in the back, police said.
He was cornered behind a block of flats off Short Heath Road a short time later and wrestled to the ground by officers.
Det Ch Insp Sarb Johal said: "It's hard to imagine the horror going through that young mum's mind when she saw Brown drive off with her two young children.
"Brown simply didn't have enough time to get away before he was swamped by officers."
Brown was cleared of the Bristol burglary charge at the direction of a judge at Birmingham Crown Court earlier this year, police said.