Mounties in Nanaimo say they have arrested a "prolific offender" and recovered a stolen vehicle after an officer spotted someone driving erratically Wednesday afternoon.

The incident occurred shortly before 1:30 p.m. in the small community of Cedar, southeast of Nananimo. Police said a general duty officer was patrolling the area when he saw an older model Honda Civic driving in a way that posed a risk to the general public.

The officer called in the driver's behaviour, but did not attempt to stop the vehicle, police said.

A few minutes later, another officer saw the suspect vehicle driving dangerously, this time in the area of Ninth Street in Nanaimo, according to police. That officer turned on the lights of his unmarked vehicle and blocked the street in an attempt to stop the suspect vehicle, police said.

Instead of stopping, however, the Civic appeared to accelerate, police said. It slammed into the police vehicle, ramming its front grill and causing significant damage. The suspect vehicle then continued driving dangerously, eventually crossing a lawn, jumping a curb and coming to a stop in a ditch off of Park Avenue, police said.

Brandon Sharp, a 30-year-old Nanaimo resident, was arrested in the incident. Two female passengers were also removed from the vehicle and arrested, but later released unconditionally, according to police.

Police said both the vehicle and the licence plates attached to it were confirmed stolen.

Sharp appeared in court Thursday and is facing two counts of possession of stolen property, as well as charges of dangerous driving and breach of probation. He was released from custody, but is scheduled to appear in court again on Feb. 11.