Watch CBS News

Barnegat Township Schools Open As Search For Escaped Inmate Continues

By Trang Do

BARNEGAT, NJ (CBS) -- Barnegat Township, NJ schools are open, despite the ongoing search for escaped prisoner Arthur Buckel.

For parents with concerns, police officers will be stationed at every school for the entire day, in the event that the search is still going on.

All Barnegat Township schools will be open tomorrow. In the event that the escaped subject is not yet in custody, the...

Posted by Barnegat Police Department on Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Police are urging people in the area to lock their doors and cars and to continue to report suspicious activity.

Heavy rain throughout the day hampered the search for Buckel. Despite the efforts of ten departments, including a Coast Guard helicopter, Buckel managed to elude police in the daylight.

"We have had probably 40-to-50 suspicious person calls," said Sgt. Jeffrey Ryan of the Barnegat Township Police Department. "You have to understand, with an incident of this nature, we're going to have a lot of residents calling in with every suspicious person they see on the road. We are investigating each and every one of those calls."

The next challenge for crews is nightfall, but Ryan said officers are prepared.

"Although it is more difficult to see at night, we do have some great toys, night vision, thermal imaging cameras that our officers can now use at night, which will benefit them, more so than [Buckel]," he said.

Surveillance video shows Buckel entering a Barnegat Township CVS at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Investigators found a truck there that they believe Buckel stole, after escaping from a Winslow Township prison on Tuesday.

Officials placed schools on lockdown, as residents described the unprecedented search.

"Just madness, lots of police activity in the neighborhood, multiple different towns, jurisdictions, swarming with cops," said Tommy Thompson.

"Certainly nerve-wracking, particularly in this environment these days," said Mark Bryson. "Glad I'm home and it'll be nice to get my son and my daughter, getting out a little earlier."

New shifts of officers took over the overnight search. Barnegat Mayor John J. Novak directed a strong message at Buckel.

"You are going to be apprehended," he said. "My suggestion to you, is to surrender to law enforcement, surrender immediately. Make it easier for everybody including yourself."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.