BARNEGAT - Authorities in Barnegat Township say that they no longer believe that an escaped prison inmate is in their town.

Barnegat Mayor John Novak said that there is enough evidence to determine that Arthur Buckel is most likely not in the town any longer. The Department of Corrections is taking over the investigation.

The mayor says that police officers will still be stationed at Barnegat schools Friday as a precaution. He also urged residents that they should still call police if they notice anything suspicious.

Buckel escaped from the Ancora unit of the Bayside State Prison in Hammonton sometime before 6 a.m. Tuesday. He reportedly stole a car, which was found at a CVS parking lot.

Buckel had been serving a sentence for aggravated assault and was scheduled to be considered for parole later this month. He previously served 14 years for the aggravated manslaughter of a baby.