Milburn residents are urged to secure firearms following a
tip-off that an escaped prisoner might try to obtain a gun.
Police were called on Saturday night to a home behind the
Toko Golf Club near the Otago Corrections Facility from which
Stephen Maddren escaped on Tuesday afternoon.
A couple returned home to find a wet boot-print by an
external sliding door and ''heard a cough'' near their
property, Clutha Taieri area response manager Senior Sergeant
Al Dickie said.
Police responded to the call with officers and two dog teams
searching the golf course and nearby hillside, with the
search later called off because of fog.
Police had information Maddren could intend stealing a gun,
prompting a warning.
''Should they be stolen and it's determined security was not
up to the required standard, the gun owner risks revocation
of their firearms licence,'' Snr Sgt Dickie said.
Residents with older style sliding doors were urged to drop a
piece of wood in the channel to prevent them being easily
opened, he said.
Police continued to keep an open mind as to whether Maddren
remained in the Milburn area, but residents were urged to
contact police who would ''respond immediately to any firm
sightings or suspicious activity''.
''He could be anywhere, but it is not helping us if someone
is harbouring him or aiding him in some way.''
Anyone found to have given assistance to Maddren would face
serious charges, he said.
Maddren might have sourced clothes, and changed his
appearance since the escape.