Machiasport inmate apprehended in Lewiston on Thursday

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LEWISTON — An Auburn man accused of slipping away from a Machiasport prison Wednesday was found and arrested in Lewiston a day later.

Prison officials said 46-year-old John Phillip Michaud had walked away Wednesday from the Downeast Correctional Facility in Machiasport.

Michaud was convicted in 2013 for five counts of burglary and theft. He was transferred to the minimum security prison in Machiasport in September, officials said, and was due to be released next year from the Downeast Correctional Facility.

After Michaud vanished on Wednesday, the search was on, involving investigations from the Department of Corrections, Probation and Parole and city and State police.

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In Lewiston, police were advised by probation officials that Michaud might be in the area seeking refuge with friends or relatives.

“We knew he had spent time here in the past,” Lewiston police Lt. Michael McGonagle said.

On Wednesday night, acting on tips, Lewiston police went to a local motel and searched for Michaud. When he wasn’t found, officers turned their attention to the home of Michaud’s brother, who lives in Lewiston.

Police watched that home, but still Michaud failed to appear. The search continued into Thursday when, acting on further tips, police went to 146 Pierce St. where Michaud was located just before noon. He was arrested without drama, police said, and turned over to prison officials.

Michaud was charged in a late 2012 burglary spree in which more than $10,000 worth of goods were stolen. In addition to prison time, he was ordered to pay restitution of $11,394.

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