FBI Offers $50K (€37K) Reward for Chicago Jail Escapees

They manufactured rope out of bedsheets they tied together, to break out of jail

Chicago inmates Joseph “Jose” Banks and Kenneth Conley broke out of prison on Tuesday, December 18, prompting a massive manhunt by the FBI.

The Bureau is currently offering $50K (€37K) to whomever can provide information about their whereabouts, Huffington Post reports.

The pair manufactured rope out of bedsheets, which they tied together, and climbed down the outer walls of the Metropolitan Correctional Center. Their jail cell was located on the 15th floor of the facility so they had a long way down.

They had a 5-inch (12.7-cm) window through which to crawl out. It was fitted with bars, yet they managed to remove them and replace with decoys. The original bars were recovered in one of their bed mattresses.

The fugitives were spotted getting into a cab at 2:45 a.m., as the last bed check performed by prison guards took place at 10 p.m. on Monday, according to ABC. Prison staff noticed the rope at about 7 a.m. on Tuesday, giving them a considerable head start on authorities.

That morning, witness accounts put them in Tinley Park, Illinois, where Conley's mother lives. They were reportedly sent away by the woman; however, a neighbor claims she took a gun from her son, before telling him to leave.

FBI spokesperson Joan Hyde has put up a warning that the escapees are “armed and dangerous.”

“Our focus is still primarily on the Chicago metropolitan area,” Hyde clarifies.

Banks might have the resources to travel further, having gathered $600,000 (€453,500) by robbing banks. Only a sixth of the money was recovered when he was arrested. Conley was in jail for the same offense, but he only got away with $4,000 (€3,000).

When he was sentenced, Banks threatened the presiding judge, during an outburst. “You'll hear from me,” he said.

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