A HAVE-A-GO hero clung to the bonnet of a getaway car as it sped through the streets of a County Durham village, before finally being thrown into the road.

The 59-year-old man refused hospital treatment after his dramatic bid to catch the masked burglars who had broken into his home in Murton and terrorised his wife and daughter at knifepoint.

Detective Sergeant Joanne Long, who is leading the hunt for the burglars, said last night: "While the victim had been courageous in facing up to the victims, his decision to jump onto the bonnet of the car could have resulted in far more serious consequences."

The drama began when two raiders, each wearing a balaclava and wielding a knife, burst into a home in Glenhurst Terrace in the village, at 7.45pm on Tuesday.

A 56-year-old woman and her 36-year-old daughter, who were in the living room, were ordered at knifepoint back across the room, before the alarmed mother called to her husband upstairs.

He raced down as the would-be thieves fled the property. They jumped into a blue M-registration Ford Escort parked a few yards away and, as the car moved off, the father jumped on to the bonnet and grabbed the windscreen wipers.

DS Long said: "The car, by now moving at about 30mph, turned left into Wood's Terrace, right into Western Terrace, left into East Coronation Street and finally right into Federation Square.

"At that point, the journey had covered 700 yards and the man slid off the bonnet, pulling off a windscreen wiper in the process.

"The car stopped and one of the occupants got out. The victim promptly pulled off his balaclava.

"He was threatened with a knife as the assailant snatched back his mask and got back into the car and drove off.

"The car then turned around and came back down the street, where the defiant victim hurled a handful of loose coins at the car windscreen as it went past."

Part of the incident was witnessed by a neighbour and may have been seen by passengers on a service bus that was passing the Escort in Wood Terrace.

Police have yet to establish why the house was targeted.

Sneak thieves had taken a set of keys three days earlier and made off with the victim's Land Rover Discovery TDI, registration number N118 CDC.

Anyone with information is asked to contact 0845-606 0365 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.