A 1.8-metre diamond python was removed from a footpath in central Wollongong last night.
Police were called to an address in Atchison Street shortly before 6pm, where they found the python on the footpath outside the house.
They contacted NSW Fire and Rescue and a crew with snake handlers responded.
When they arrived they found a neighbour had already bagged the python with the assistance of a broom.
The firefighters took the snake and released it in bushland at Mount Keira.