Police vehicle crashes during pursuit arrest in Wollongong CBD

A police car has slammed into a traffic light pole in Wollongong’s CBD during the arrest of two people over a series of pursuits in the southern Illawarra on Thursday.

The man and woman, whose ages are not yet known, were taken into custody about 2.30pm when the Subaru Forester they were travelling in got stuck in traffic on Keira Street, a NSW Police spokeswoman said.

The Forester was stopped southbound on the street, at the intersection of Crown and Keira streets.

It was then moved further down Keira street, where a highway patrol officer was seen searching the vehicle.

A number of items found inside, including a handbag and a bum bag, were also searched.

The officer was also seen handling money and counting coins on the car’s bonnet. 

The arrested pair remain in custody while inquiries continue.

Meanwhile, a police car involved in the operation had to be towed after it rolled down Keira Street, across Burelli Street and struck a traffic light pole at the intersection of the two streets. The car was unoccupied.

No one was injured in the incident.

The police car, a Holden Commodore, sustained significant front-end damage.

Nikola Dedovic and Dimitri Cantarakis were finishing up a session at the nearby Club Lime gym when they saw the drama unfold outside.

“We were just cooling down from the gym and we were looking out the window … then the cop car just swerved and went straight into the pole,” Nikola, 17, said.

“It was pretty crazy, the cop was freakin’ out [and] didn’t know what was going on.”

Dimitri said there was “a lot of beeping”.

“We heard the screech of the tyres and then we heard a big bang after that,” the 16-year-old said.

Earlier on Thursday, a land and air search was carried out as police searched for a car that led officers on a pursuit at Unanderra.

Chief Inspector Steve Johnson, from Lake Illawarra police, said officers had tried to stop a champagne-coloured Subaru Forester on the Princes Highway in Unanderra about 8.15am.

The vehicle failed to stop and a pursuit was initiated.

A search for the vehicle – conducted in the Warrawong, Lake Heights, Unanderra and Cringila area – involved highway patrol and general duties police officers, as well as the Polair helicopter.