Wollongong detectives are en route to Nowra, where a man has been taken into custody over a string of frightening carjackings and thefts across three police districts.
Police will allege the 27-year-old man was armed with a knife when he targeted a shopper at Figtree Grove about 12.45pm Wednesday, before making off in their Toyota Corolla.
A short time later he struck at Osborne Street, Wollongong, where a 55-year-old woman was helping a 90-year-old woman out of a Nissan Pulsar.
He allegedly threatened the younger woman with the knife before driving off in the Pulsar.
The Mercury understands the women were trying to get to a doctor’s appointment when they were targeted.
Wollongong police Inspector Don Faulds said the the older woman was assessed by ambulance paramedics, then taken to Wollongong Hospital for observation.
“They were obviously quite shaken up, quite upset,” Insp Faulds said. “It would have been quite frightening to be the subject of a carjacking.”
The man was allegedly behind the wheel of a Hyundai Kona, also allegedly stolen in a carjacking incident at Nowra, when police gave chase later Wednesday afternoon.
“He’s allegedly dumped [the Pulsar] and the allegation is that he's then car jacked another vehicle when he's arrived down in the Nowra area,” Insp Faulds said.
“It's not the norm. [A carjacker] would normally steal one vehicle and then use that vehicle to get from point A to point B, but this gentleman’s allegedly attempted to steal numerous vehicles. His thought processes are are yet to be known.”
He was arrested on the Princes Highway at Nowra about 3.50pm, bringing to an end a four-hour spree that began in Campbelltown.
Officers from Campbelltown Police Area Command had attempted to stop the man as he drove off in a Nissan Pulsar allegedly stolen from Airds, in Sydney’s south-west, about midday.
That pursuit was terminated for safety reasons.
The man is now assisting police with their inquiries, with Wollongong detectives expected to lead the investigation.