A prisoner who escaped while he was being returned to a county jail in southern New Jersey this week has been captured.

Atlantic County officials say Shane Hopkins was found late Wednesday afternoon in a wooded area in Hamilton Township. Officers went there after a resident reported hearing odd noises.

The 38-year-old had escaped on Tuesday, after an appearance in Hamilton Municipal Court. He was being driven to the county jail by a township police officer when he somehow got out of the car and ran off.

Details on how the escape occurred have not been disclosed by officials, who say it remains under investigation.

Hopkins, who has a criminal record that includes burglary and theft offenses, is also wanted in four other states.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)