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article imageTwo inmates escape from Chicago prison cell nearly 20 stories up

By Leigh Goessl     Dec 19, 2012 in Crime
Chicago - Early yesterday morning two inmates escaped from the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago. The two men had been awaiting sentencing following convictions for bank robbery.
In a shocking story, two inmates awaiting sentences after being convicted of bank robbery escaped from Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Chicago. The two men reportedly built a "makeshift rope" out of bed sheets and scaled down out of their 20-story high cell to escape.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the men escaped somewhere between a Monday 10 p.m. headcount and 7 a.m. Tuesday when arriving employees noticed the "rope" dangling from the outside wall of the facility.
Officials say the men, who shared a cell, had stuffed a pile of clothing and sheets under their blankets to appear as if they were still in bed. A window was found broken and the "rope" tied to the bars.
“A rope was fashioned out of bedsheets,’’ said a spokesman for the MCC. “I would imagine that they saved them up."
The two men, Joseph "Jose" Banks, 37, and Kenneth Conley, 38, are still at large and a large manhunt is underway. Officials warn the men may be armed and dangerous. They were last spotted together around the Tinley Park area, 25 miles southwest of Chicago.
Fox News reported the men were wearing prison-issue orange jumpsuits, but may be currently dressed in white t-shirts, gray sweat pants and white gym shoes. Banks is described as a 5-feet-8 black man, weighing 160 pounds and Conley is described as being a 6-foot tall white man weighing around 185 pounds.
Federal prosecutors have charged both men with escape in a criminal complaint filed on Tuesday.
A local blog, Chicago Now, reported in 1985 two other individuals escaped from the MCC in the same fashion.
According to the Boston Herald (via Associated Press), MCC is operated by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons and was opened in 1975; it houses approximately 700 inmates.
Update 6:54 p.m. ET
Surveillance video has surfaced that shows the two men getting into a cab at about 2:45 a.m. local time, reports the Associated Press (via Town Hall)
At this time it is not clear why the men were not noticed missing at the midnight, 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. headcounts, reported the Chicagoist. Additionally, they had also managed to take out a cinder block in order to widen the hole to escape, reported the Chicago Sun-Times.
The FBI is offering a $50,000 reward for information on the whereabouts of the two men that leads to apprehension.
More about Escaped inmate, Chicago, chicago prison, Metropolitan Correctional Center, Jailbreak
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