A dramatic daytime police chase through the streets of Figtree that saw a car crash into a creek has ended with the arrest of man accused of an Albion Park Rail murder.
Police from Lake Illawarra and Wollongong assisted by the Dog Squad Unit and PolAir went to Cleverdon Crescent to arrest Darren Butler on an outstanding warrant for murder about 10am on Thursday.
Police cars raced across an oval behind Govett Crescent to surround the fleeing car that tried to drive across a small creek after it was chased through the backstreets of Figtree.
Lake Illawarra District Police Detective Chief Inspector Glen Broadhead said 27-year-old Butler, who was driving the car, ran from the vehicle and was chased on foot about 400 metres.
Police and dogs were forced to jump over neighbouring residents' fences before Dog Squad Unit officers arrested the Warrawong suspect.
A 30-year-old man from Koonawarra and a 26-year-old woman from Figtree were arrested in the car.
Det Insp Broadhead said police "received information in the early hours of the morning that lead them to that location" on Thursday.
Figtree resident Wal Burkinshaw said one of the suspects was arrested in his backyard.
"I heard the back gate bang, which was pretty unusual as there was nobody out on the back deck, and I thought that was weird," Mr Burkinshaw said.
He said he went outside to investigate and a police officer told him to go back inside the house.
"More and more police came and then there was a hell of a commotion," he said.
The murder charge for Butler is in relation to a car crash that killed Daniel Merrett in the early hours of May 18.
Merrett, 27, died when the car he was a passenger in was travelling along the Princes Highway at Albion Park Rail and crashed into the rear of a petrol tanker.
Three other people in the car were also injured.
Police inquiries suggested the car may have been pursued by another vehicle at the time of the accident, and shots may have been fired.
As part of the investigation, police had been looking for three people - 34-year-old Andrew Russell, 25-year-old Holly Green and Butler.
Russell has since been arrested and charged with murder, armed robbery and assaulting police in the execution of their duty.
Det Insp Broadhead said detectives would now turn their attention to finding and arresting Green.
"We have one offender outstanding in relation to the motor vehicle accident and that is certainty our focus now," he said.
"We will be turning all of our efforts to that particular offender."
Police do not believe the two passengers in the car that crashed at Figtree were involved in the fatal crash at Albion Park Rail.
Police believe Butler left the Lake Illawarra area after the fatal crash but had since returned.
"The offender is from the Lake Illawarra area and has spent a considerable amount of time here," Det Insp Broadhead said.
"It is only natural that during times of flight, that they come back to the area.
"We have certainly followed a number of leads which has brought us back to Lake Illawarra and culminated in the arrest."
The Mercury understands Mr Butler was hiding out in Victoria and Lake Illawarra Police have been working with Victorian police.
"It was a great team effort today," Det Insp Broadhead said.
"There have been a number of police specialty units that have worked on this investigation and it has culminated in the arrest of this person."
Butler was charged with an outstanding warrant for murder, take drive conveyance, police pursuit, drive recklessly speed manner dangerous, and drive during disqualification period.
The other two passengers were charged with accessory after the fact to murder.
Police bail was refused and the trio will appear at Wollongong Local Court on Friday.