Deputy U.S. marshals arrested an escaped convict from Alfred outside a grocery store in Rochester, N.H., on Tuesday night as he tried to get help after five days on the run, police said.

David G. Hobson had been the subject of a round-the-clock manhunt since he escaped from the Carroll County House of Corrections in Ossipee, N.H., on Thursday by scaling a fence topped with razor wire.

Police regarded Hobson as dangerous because of his escape and apparent desperation, and because he had text-messaged a threat to his former girlfriend.

Hobson was arrested at 6:15 p.m. outside the Market Basket grocery store in Rochester, the store where the woman had worked. He was riding in a car with another man and was planning to meet someone.

“Hobson needed a shower and some support … and as a result, his coming out of hiding ultimately led to his own capture,” said Maine U.S. Marshal Noel March. “We took him completely by surprise and at gunpoint. He was not armed and did not resist.”

Hobson was surrounded by deputy U.S. marshals from the Maine and New Hampshire violent-offender task forces, who, as federal officers, have cross-border jurisdiction.

Police believe that Hobson spent most of his time at large in the Alfred-Sanford area, where he has family members and where he could hide in woods with which he is familiar.

Hobson apparently stole his grandmother’s vehicle from a house that police searched Monday. The grandmother is in Florida, police said.

Maine State Police Sgt. Robert Burke said several agencies worked together to find Hobson, including the state police, the Marshals Service, the York County Sheriff’s Office and Sanford police.

Burke and other searchers spent Tuesday in the Massabesic Experimental Forest in Alfred, then got new information about Hobson’s location.

“We had developed information from informants that gave us the opportunity to take him into custody in a safe location,” Burke said. “We developed this information and moved on it and effected the arrest within an hour.”

Burke said a $1,000 reward offered by the Marshals Service was a key. “The reward was certainly a huge incentive in getting us into position to capture the fugitive,” he said.

Authorities said an informant was instrumental in leading them to Hobson. Police had worked long hours with little sleep over the past several days, trying to track him down.

Attention focused on Alfred and Sanford. Police found evidence that he had been there, but nobody saw him. Discarded clothes and medical supplies were found behind houses on New Dam Road that police searched Monday. Police believed that Hobson had been cut badly in his escape over the razor wire.

“It’s too soon to tell where he’s been spending the last five days,” Burke said Tuesday night. “All indications are he was where we thought he was.

“We were after someone who knew his environment and was capable of living outdoors in the wilderness for days at a time,” he said.

Hobson, who turns 34 today, got help from someone as he eluded authorities, receiving at least financial support, if not more, police say.

Homes belonging to Hobson’s relatives in and around the southern Maine communities of Alfred and Sanford were watched closely by law enforcement officials, and relatives were interviewed multiple times.

Hobson’s father was arrested Friday and charged with hindering apprehension. He is accused of leaving supplies for Hobson outside his home in Alfred. Police said the package included food, water, medical supplies, blankets and clothing.

Hobson is not answering investigators’ questions, police said.

Before Hobson’s arrest, police focused Tuesday on the Massabesic Experimental Forest, owned by the National Forest Service. The landscape of swamps and trees was shrouded in mist. Neighbors said a man could easily hide, or get lost, in the 1,800-acre expanse.

Eight dog teams from around the state criss-crossed the forest for much of Tuesday searching for signs of Hobson. Each dog and handler was escorted by three armed officers.

Residents in the area were relieved to learn of Hobson’s arrest.

“It was a little tense around here yesterday. You keep your eyes open and your doors locked,” said Harold Duranceau of New Dam Road, who lives about 250 feet from the homes that were searched Monday by state and federal authorities.

Duranceau, who has lived in the neighborhood for 13 years, said he spent Monday inside his home with his doors locked. “When someone is armed with a gun, you don’t know,” he said.

Arlene Laclair, who also lives on New Dam Road, said, “I was a little frightened in the morning (Monday) when it was dark and I had to go to work. … I’m excited that they did catch him and that no one was harmed.”

Hobson escaped from the jail in New Hampshire by scaling a fence in the recreation yard, cutting his arms in the process, authorities said. Police believed he had a gun and a grudge against two people with whom he had a personal relationship.

March said the two were aware of the threats and were “in a safe place.”

Hobson, whose criminal record includes a series of burglary convictions, wasn’t going after past victims, March said before the arrest.

But one burglary victim said she had lived in fear of Hobson since he ransacked her home several times in 2005, looking for pain medication she takes for a disability. Hobson pleaded guilty in 2006 to more than a dozen burglaries, including one at the home of Lynne Mansur of Alfred.

Mansur told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the most valuable thing Hobson stole was her sense of security.

“I’m scared and shaking and sleeping with all sorts of things around me,” Mansur said, including knives, tear gas and an air horn near her bed. “I’m really thinking I just need to leave my house, and that’s not right.”

Mansur said she was reassured by authorities that she wasn’t one of the people Hobson was targeting. She was contacted by a victim advocate for the York County District Attorney’s Office soon after Hobson’s escape.

“It doesn’t protect me, but it makes me feel like I’m not totally alone,” Mansur said.

– The Associated Press and  Staff Writer Dennis Hoey contributed to this report.

Staff Writer David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at: [email protected]