ALFRED — David G. Hobson is back in jail after five days on the run, but a criminal investigation continues as police try to determine who helped the escaped convict evade capture.

Federal marshals surrounded Hobson at gunpoint Tuesday night in a grocery store parking lot in Rochester, N.H., after he got into another man’s car. Hobson didn’t have a gun – police had feared he would – but he did have $3,000 and a handful of prescription narcotics, police said Wednesday.

Police do not know where Hobson got the cash, but speculate that he planned to leave the area right away.

“I think it’s fair to say we grabbed him in the nick of time,” Noel March, U.S. marshal for the district of Maine, said at a news conference Wednesday.

Hobson broke out of the Carroll County Jail in Ossipee, N.H., on Dec. 1 and dodged dozens of federal, state, county and local officers for the next five days. Authorities considered him dangerous, and residents were unnerved for several days as police searched for him in Sanford and his hometown of Alfred.

More than 120 tips came in from people who wanted to help police, and a $1,000 reward was offered by the U.S. Marshals Service. One of the tips helped police capture Hobson and send him back to the jail in Ossipee.

Hobson was arraigned Wednesday – his 34th birthday – in Ossipee District Court on a felony charge of escape, which carries a prison sentence of 3 to seven years. He did not enter a plea. If he is indicted by a grand jury, as expected, he will enter a plea in Carroll County Superior Court.

Judge Robert Varney set bail at $500,000. However, even if he had the money, Hobson couldn’t go free. He is in the midst of a one-year sentence at the Maine Correctional Center in Windham for violating probation.

Hobson was in jail in New Hampshire to await trial on burglary charges.

Hobson appeared in court Wednesday in an orange prison T-shirt and pants, with his hands and ankles shackled. Three deputies accompanied him into the courtroom and stood behind him during the arraignment.

Hobson did not say anything audible in response to a judge’s questions, but did shake and nod his head.

Later in the day, he was moved to an undisclosed facility as a security precaution, officials said.
Maine State Police Lt. Louis Nyitray said police are trying to determine who helped Hobson after he escaped.

Hobson’s father, Glenn Hobson, is free on bail after his arrest Friday night on charges of hindering apprehension and refusing to submit to arrest. He allegedly left out food, water, medical supplies, clothing and blankets for his son to pick up.

Hobson took his grandmother’s car from New Dam Road in Sanford to get back to New Hampshire, police said. She is in Florida and was unaware that the vehicle was taken, but others in Hobson’s family may be questioned further.

“I think they probably cooperated as much as they felt they needed to, and no more,” Nyitray said.

David Cargill Jr., U.S. marshal for the District of New Hampshire, said the driver of the car that Hobson got in Tuesday was detained, then released, and his involvement will be investigated.

At a news conference Wednesday, police from seven of the agencies involved in the search for Hobson stood in front of the Maine State Police Troop A barracks in Alfred and shared some of the details they had withheld during the search.

Store receipts found Monday behind a relative’s house on New Dam Road had come from the Walmart store in Scarborough on Friday night. Security video from the store showed Hobson leaving at 10 p.m. in a Toyota Highlander that was stolen in Wakefield, N.H., and recovered Saturday night alongside the Massabesic Experimental Forest in Alfred, an area with which Hobson is familiar.

Hobson probably bypassed the Walmart in Sanford for one farther north to reduce the chance that someone would recognize him, Nyitray said.

Hobson bought first aid supplies, new clothes, a pair of boots, gloves, snacks and screwdrivers, police said. Police do not know why Hobson bought the screwdrivers, which he left in the Highlander.

Police said the clothes, boots and gloves helped Hobson endure a night of cold temperatures Saturday.

They cannot account for all of Hobson’s movements, and he has refused to answer investigators’ questions. However, police say tracking technology showed Hobson was using a cellphone in the area where police were searching Saturday, Sunday and into Monday morning.

Extensive resources were used to capture Hobson, including aircraft from Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, electronic surveillance by the U.S. Marshals Service, and dozens of state troopers working around the clock.

Asked about the expense of the effort, Nyitray said: “I hate to even think of it, but what kind of price can you put on public safety? I suggest it’s priceless.”

Hobson’s danger to the public was demonstrated by his determination to get out of the jail, which involved scaling a wall topped by razor-wire fencing, then leaping 12 feet from a building before running into the woods.

He cut his legs in the process. He tended to his injuries while on the run and was treated at a hospital in New Hampshire after his capture. In court, he had a gauze bandage on his left forearm.

“He had some cuts and scrapes, nothing that required any serious medical attention,” said Cargill, the U.S. marshal.

The jail that Hobson escaped from is across a road from the courthouse where he was arraigned. The concrete jail building, with sloped roofs, is next to open fields and a country road.

After scaling the jail’s wall, Hobson was seen running into nearby woods, according to court papers.

Police said Hobson’s escape was also fueled by jealousy. They said he used text messages to threaten his former girlfriend, who is a co-defendant on the burglary charge, and her new boyfriend.

Police said they are still trying to determine where Hobson got the cellphone he used. They said the two people he threatened were in a safe place while Hobson was loose.

Staff Writer Ann S. Kim contributed to this report.

Staff Writer David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

[email protected]