A man accused of riding in a stolen car that crashed through the boundary fence of a Mt Warrigal business on Thursday morning was arrested after police identified him from witness photos, a court has heard.
Police will allege Michael Honan was riding shotgun with an unknown driver at the wheel of a speeding white Holden Commodore when it hit the kerb at the intersection of Lake Entrance Road and Madigan Boulevard, sending it crashing through the fence of the Total Care Dentist Surgery.
The vehicle came to a rest in a flower bed, with the force of the impact causing the airbags to deploy and damaging the front of the vehicle.
Witnesses later told police they saw the driver and the passenger, alleged to be Honan, exit through the passenger’s side door and begin “wiping down” the vehicle to remove any fingerprints.
The driver was seen to grab clothing from the backseat before the two men took off up Madigan Boulevard.
It is alleged the driver ran into the rear yard of one house, deposited clothing in a a shed then ran off, while Honan was allegedly seen entering the neighbouring house. Police arrived a short time later and were shown photos of the two men taken by witnesses to the crash.
They discovered Honan in bed “pretending to be asleep” inside the house.
He was arrested but refused to give up the name of the driver when questioned.
Honan was charged with being carried in a stolen car and failing to disclose driver’s identity offences.
Meantime, police towed the damaged vehicle to a holding yard at Albion Park where it will undergo forensic examination.
In court on Friday, Honan’s lawyer questioned the strength of the police case, noting it only relied on mobile phone images from witnesses.
Police confirmed the airbags would be tested for DNA in the coming weeks.
Magistrate Susan McGowan granted Honan bail provided a friend or family member could lodge a $1,000 cash surety.
The case will return to court on Tuesday.