Earlier this week, two inmates escaped from the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago. The remarkable part of the story is not that they escaped, though that was quite a feat. The true surprise is that the escaped cell-mates are still out there.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the daring duo escaped through a five inch window by knocking out a cinder block at the bottom of the window. Then, in an act straight out of a bad movie, they stuffed clothes, shaped as people, into their beds and used sheets tied together to slide down a seventeen story building.
The prison guards didn’t catch on until they arrived to work the following morning and noticed the sheet-rope hanging from the window. The only lead to the duo’s whereabouts came from surveillance footage, which captured the two getting into a cab blocks away from the prison. It was later discovered that they stopped one one of the inmate’s mother’s home but were turned away.
Who are the escapees?
Joseph “Joe” Banks, a.k.a. the “second-hand bandit”
Banks, 37, got his nickname by pulling off a series of daring bank robberies, all while disguised in thrift store clothing. Though his heists netted $600,000, only about $60,000 has been accounted for, meaning he could have about half a million dollars in reserve. After being convicted last week, Banks reportedly told Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer “You’ll hear from me!” She has been offered protection, according to ABC News.
Conley, 38, was a far less successful bank robber. He was caught after a single $4,000 heist. He has a long criminal record, including armed robbery, and was recently involuntarily committed to a mental institution after the latest robbery.
If the two are apprehended, they will face additional federal charges, and up to five years of additional prison time, for escaping. If an escapee was originally incarcerated for a felony arrest or for any conviction, he faces up to five years of additional time, plus fines. If he was only being held pending a misdemeanor trial, for extradition, or for immigration purposes, the maximum sentence is a year.
- Speak to a Chicago Criminal Law Attorney (FindLaw)
- Manhunt widens for escaped bank robbers (Chicago Tribune)
- Prison Break: Seven Hours of Freedom Will Cost Him (FindLaw’s Chicago Criminal Law Blog)
- Michael Myers Robberies: Masked Freaks Rob Tow Trucks (FindLaw’s Chicago Criminal Law Blog)