THE search for three dangerous criminals who escaped from a northern NSW jail last week has been stepped up in Queensland as the trio continues to test police on both sides of the border.
Toormina's Ashley Cullen, Zac Cree, from Banora Point, and Grafton's Reegan Freeburn had up to 13 hours to find somewhere to hide before they were discovered missing from the Glen Innes jail last Thursday.
Cree, 25, has the strongest links to Queensland.
His family is believed to live in the Southport area where he worked as a salesman and frequented the local court.
In 2011, he rammed a police car with a stolen vehicle at Molendinar.
He was also arrested in the same year for stealing a car and cash from a Broadbeach home.
He is serving three years and nine months for traffic and break-and-enter offences.
News.com reported Queensland police had been warned Cree may have returned to the Gold Coast but had found no new clues to his whereabouts.
One of Cullen's close friends and co-accused in a violent home invasion at Grafton spent his teenage years on Queensland's Fraser Coast where he is believed to have a network of family and friends.
Travis Braam, a former Urangan High student, is serving 10 years jail for breaking into a man's home with Cullen and raping his female friend.
Police have not confirmed whether they believe the three escapees are still travelling together.
Freeburn's family is based at Grafton where he was convicted of stalking, intimidation and domestic violence related offences.
He would have been eligible for parole in October. Anyone who sees a prison escapee should call 000.