A member of the public unknowingly gave a lift to a wanted paedophile who police have warned should not be approached.
David Chadwick, 58, who was released from prison recently, is being hunted by police after breaching his licence conditions.
He was jailed in 2013 for committing sex offences against children, Dorset Police said.
He is believed to have taken a train from Weymouth to Moreton on Wednesday, then hitchiked to Briantspuddle.
Detective Inspector Joe Williams said: "It is now believed Mr Chadwick hitchiked from Moreton train station to Briantspuddle on Wednesday and that he did so via an unsuspecting member of the public.
"We also understand that Chadwick has with him a rucksack, sleeping bag and Ordnance Survey map and so it is possible that he is sleeping in outbuildings within the area."
Police said they have stepped up patrols in the locality.
Chadwick is white, of average build and around 5ft 10ins, with short grey hair and a small scar on his left cheek.
He was wearing a dark fleece-style jacket and glasses and carrying an Ordnance Survey map when last seen.
Mr Williams said: "Anyone who sees David Chadwick should not approach him, as he presents a risk to the public, but immediately contact Dorset Police on 999.