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GREAT ESCAPE: Bank Robbers Climb 15 Stories on Bedsheet Ropes from Chicago Jail

kenneth conley Joseph Banks chicago jail escape mugshots

Joseph Banks and Kenneth Conley.

Two convicted bank robbers made a Hollywood escape this morning from the 15th floor of a high-rise jail in downtown Chicago — squeezing through a 5-inch window and climbing to freedom down a rope made of knotted bedsheets, towels and blankets.

kenneth conley Joseph Banks chicago jail escape

Photo by John Picken, Creative Commons.

Kenneth Conley and Joseph “Jose” Banks disappeared sometime between a 10 p.m. headcount last night and 7 a.m. this morning, when guards noticed they were missing from the Metropolitan Correctional Center.

They were last spotted this morning near Conley’s mom’s house in the Tinley Park neighborhood, reports the local ABC station:

Conley’s brother confirmed the escapees showed up at his mother’s home, but said his mother and another sibling asked them to leave. He said he hopes his brother turns himself in. “Upstairs neighbors spoke to her. She said he had scored on the way and was high when he arrived, she took away his gun,” Ron Bailey, landlord, said.

kenneth conley Joseph Banks chicago jail escape rope

The rope.

Banks, known as the Second Hand Bandit because he dressed in shabby clothes and a fake beard during his many heists, stole a total of $589,000, according to police. Because just $56,000 of that haul has been recovered, cops think he may have access to half-a-million dollars. He was to be sentenced March 26 and once told a judge “You’ll hear from me!”

Conley is more small-time. He stole $4,000 from a bank and was scheduled for sentencing on January 10.

Banks is black, 5-foot-8, 160 pounds. Conley is white, 6 feet, 185 pounds. Both are presumed to be “armed and dangerous.”

Read more from ABC7.

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