Tags: bank | robber | escape | high-rise

Bank Robber Caught After Baffling Escape From High-Rise Jail

Friday, 21 Dec 2012 02:24 PM

By Michael Mullins

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Two days after a daring escape from a high-rise federal prison in Chicago which still baffles authorities, one of two convicted bank robbers was back in custody, according to the FBI.
Early Tuesday morning, Jose Banks, 37, and Kenneth Conley, 38, managed to wriggle through a hole beneath a 6-inch-wide window on the 20th floor of the Metropolitan Correctional Center and climb down to the ground using a makeshift rope consisting of bed sheets.
A surveillance camera several blocks from the prison captured the two escapees catching a cab at about 3 a.m. Somewhere along the way, the camera revealed, the pair had changed from their prison-issued orange jumpsuits into civilian attire.
It took prison authorities four hours to realize the two inmates had escaped. Around 7 a.m., guards opened the door to their cell and discovered blankets and clothes in the shape of bodies on their beds.
Officials at the federal facility couldn't explain how the pair managed to get their hands on 200 feet of bed sheets and how they were able to cut a hole under the window without alerting any guards in the process. They were also unable to say how the pair acquired civilian clothes shortly after the escape.
At about 11:30 p.m. Thursday, Banks was captured without incident by Chicago police officers who were working with the FBI's Violent Crimes Task Force, according to FBI Special Agent Joan Hyde.
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. Nearly $600,000 was taken in the two robberies, most of which is still unaccounted for, according to police.
Conley pleaded guilty in October to robbing nearly $4,000 from Homewood Bank in 2011. Unlike Banks, he wore a coat and tie during his heists. When he was not robbing banks, Conley worked at a suburban strip club in Illinois.

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