One Fugitive Caught After Daring 17-Story Escape

Joseph Banks nabbed, but Kenneth Conley remains at large

By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 21, 2012 5:44 AM CST

(Newser) – One of two convicted bank robbers who made a daring escape from a high-rise prison in Chicago on Tuesday—scaling down 17 stories using bedsheets—was captured late last night, reports the Sun-Times. Joseph "Jose" Banks was caught unarmed in northern Chicago around 11:30pm. The manhunt continues for the second escapee, Kenneth Conley.

A union official blamed staffing shortages for the prison break: Though the escape was caught on surveillance video, he says the two guards assigned to the CCTV control room were too busy performing prisoner counts and answering phones to monitor the cameras properly. Officials still have no idea how Banks and Conley broke through the prison wall to the outside or how they acquired the 200 feet of bedsheets they needed to scale down the building, reports the AP.

Jose Banks, one of two inmates who escaped from the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Chicago on Dec. 18, was captured by police late last night.
Jose Banks, one of two inmates who escaped from the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Chicago on Dec. 18, was captured by police late last night.   (AP Photo/FBI, File)
Shreds of cloth hang at the end of a rope that dangles from a window at the Metropolitan Correctional Center on Dec. 18, 2012, in Chicago. Two convicted bank robbers used a knotted rope or bed sheets to escape early Tuesday.
Shreds of cloth hang at the end of a rope that dangles from a window at the Metropolitan Correctional Center on Dec. 18, 2012, in Chicago. Two convicted bank robbers used a knotted rope or bed sheets...   (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
This photo shows the Metropolitan Correctional Center Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012, in Chicago.
This photo shows the Metropolitan Correctional Center Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012, in Chicago.   (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
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