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.