2 US inmates escape from high-rise jail

2012-12-19 10:03
(File)

(File) (Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Chicago - A massive manhunt is underway for two bank robbers who pulled off a daring escape from downtown Chicago's high-rise jail on Tuesday by apparently squeezing through a narrow window and scaling down about 20 stories using a makeshift rope tied to the bars in a cell window.

Police helicopters and canine units swarmed the area, but not until more than 3 three hours after Joseph "Jose" Banks and Kenneth Conley went unaccounted for during a 05:00 headcount, US Marshal's Service spokesperson Belkis Cantor said.

Both men were still at large late on Tuesday night.

Investigators found a broken window in the men's cell, where window bars were found inside a mattress, according to an FBI affidavit filed late on Tuesday.

Fake metal bars also were found in the men's cell, a rope was tied to a window bar, and each man's bed was stuffed with clothing and sheets to resemble a body, the affidavit said.

It appeared to illustrate a meticulously planned escape from the 27-story facility that came a week after Banks made a courtroom vow of retribution. Both men are facing hefty prison sentences, and the FBI said they should be considered armed and dangerous.

Elite police teams stormed at least one home in Tinley Park, a suburb south of the city. Although neither man was found, evidence suggested that both had been at the home just hours earlier, according to the FBI.

Some schools went on lockdown after being inundated with calls from nervous parents. Mike Byrne, a superintendent in Tinley Park, said "our parents are so emotionally charged right now" because of the school shootings in Connecticut.

Heavily wooded area

Hours after the escape, a rope possibly made of bed sheets could be seen dangling down the side of the Metropolitan Correctional Centre. At least 200 feet long and knotted about every 1.8m, the rope was hanging from a window that was 6 feet tall but only 6 inches in diameter.

The facility is one of the only skyscraper lockups in the world, and experts say its triangular shape was meant to make it easier to guard, theoretically reducing blind spots for guards. The only other escape from the nearly 40-year-old facility occurred in the mid-1980s, Cantor said.

Exactly when Banks, 37, and Conley, 38, escaped remains unclear. Shop owners across the street from the wall the men scaled said police suddenly flooded into the area at about 08:30, hours after they missed a headcount. Police initially said the men escaped sometime between 05:00 and 08:45.

Both men were wearing orange jumpsuits, but police believe they may have quickly changed into white T-shirts, gray sweat pants and white gym shoes. The FBI believes both men were in Tinley Park, a heavily wooded area about 40km south of Chicago. Authorities were scouring a local forest preserve in the afternoon.

Banks, known as the Second-Hand Bandit because he wore used clothes during his heists, was convicted last week of robbing two banks and attempting to rob two others. Authorities say he stole almost $600 000, and most of that still is missing.

During trial, he had to be restrained because he threatened to walk out of the courtroom. He acted as his own attorney and verbally sparred with the prosecutor, at times arguing that that US law didn't apply to him because he was a sovereign citizen of a group that was above state and federal law.

 

- AP
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Camping gear!

We’ve got all your camping must have’s right here at mind blowing low prices. Check them out now!

Herbex – buy 3 & get 1 free!

Fat burn packs, appetite control chewies, stretch mark cream and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

30% off Jinger Jack handbags

Spice up your wardrobe and save 30% on stylish Jinger Jack handbags. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Buy 3 books & pay for 2

The cheapest of the 3 books will be free. Offer valid while stocks last. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

Deal of the week!

Hisense 40” Full HD LED Television now R3999. Offer valid while stocks last. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Mercury has moved into Libra which adds a more social energy to the way you can communicate and connect things. Today is about...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.