Police are closing in on an escaped prisoner after finding a car he is believed to have stolen and evidence he has taken a second vehicle.
Lex Miller, 48, was jailed for seven years and eight months in 2008 for the attempted murder of his wife.[image:2930:third:right]
Miller hid in his ex-wife's car before kidnapping her and attempting to gas her. She managed to escape.
On 25 August he escaped from Tongariro-Rangipo prison in the central North Island after taking a Toyota Camry from a carpark.
The vehicle was found at a Rotorua backpackers on Thursday. Police say they now know Miller took a burgundy Holden Rodeo utility on Tuesday evening in the city and put petrol in it but didn't pay for it.
Detective Inspector Tim Anderson says while Miller could be anywhere, indications are that he is heading back to the eastern Bay of Plenty where he has family and friends.[image:2932:third:right]
Mr Anderson says while there is no concern for the public at large, Miller is considered dangerous and should not be approached.
However, he says police have concerns for specific people but declined to say what measures are being taken to protect Miller's ex-wife.
Mr Anderson says the fact Miller was only eight months away from being eligible for parole has prompted concerns about his state of mind and it is strange that he would jeopardise his parole and status within the prison.
He says Miller's parents and siblings are highly stressed about his escape and want him to give himself up.
Miller is described as European with sandy brown hair, is of medium build and 173 centimetres tall. He was last seen wearing a tan coloured shirt, blue jeans and white sports shoes.