POLICE officers on the hunt for fugitive Bernard Sharkey carried out searches in the Hartlepool area over the weekend before finally making an arrest in North Yorkshire.
Sharkey, 34, had been missing since failing to return to prison following work in the community last month.
Police officers, detectives and the police dog unit descended on the Crimdon Dene area, on the outskirts of Hartlepool, on Saturday teatime as the search to find him continued.
Officers turned their attentions to North Yorkshire 24 hours later, and arrested a 34-year-old man on suspicion of possession of a Class A drug and possession of an offensive weapon.
Cleveland Police confirmed after the arrest they were no longer looking for Sharkey.
Sharkey failed to return to Kirklevington Prison following work in the community and was last seen at Newham Grange Farm, Coulby Newham, Middlesbrough, at 12.30pm on Thursday, August 23.
He was serving an indeterminate sentence for threats to kill, affray and possession of an offensive weapon.
Prior to last night’s arrest, police chiefs had urged Sharkey to hand himself in.
A Cleveland Police spokeswoman said: “Searches were conducted in the Crimdon Dene area on Saturday evening in relation to Bernard Sharkey.”
The spokeswoman added: “Following an intensive investigation by Cleveland Police, a 34-year-old man was arrested last night at a caravan site close to the Stokesley area.”
“The man was detained with assistance from North Yorkshire Police. He has been arrested on suspicion of posession of a Class A drug and posession of an offensive weapon and he has been taken to custody where he will be questioned.”