Chicago Prisoners Escape from 15th Floor, FBI Offers $50K Reward

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According to the Chicago Tribune , the FBI has announced that it's offering a $50,000 reward to anyone with information leading to the capture of two convicted criminals who escaped from a federal jail in Chicago's South Loop area. The FBI's announcement comes after a bizarre escape from the criminals that included scaling down 15 stories of a building using a makeshift rope made from bedsheets.

Here are some facts and details about the hunt for the two convicted criminals that has extended beyond the Chicago area:

* CBS Chicago reported that the two escapees are Kenneth Conley, 38, and Joseph "Jose" Banks, 37, who were serving their sentence at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Chicago for bank robbery.

* The escape happened sometime between 5 and 7 a.m. on Tuesday morning, prompting a manhunt for the two criminals.

* Apparently the two men were able to squeeze through a small window on the 15th floor where their cell was located, noted the Associated Press .

* Conley and Banks created a rope using bed sheets knotted together and tied it to the bars on the window after breaking through the glass.

* The two men stuffed clothing and sheets in their beds to make it appear as though they were still sleeping in the cell.

* According to WLS , the robbers may have had up to nine hours before authorities realized they had escaped from the prison.

* The search led investigators to Tinley Park to the home of one of the inmate's mothers after a report came in that they were spotted in the south suburb. Investigators used a canine unit to track the men to a Metra station, but the trail went cold at that point.

* Banks is described as being a black male weighing 160 pounds and standing 5-foot-8 in height. Conley is a white male weighing 185 pounds and standing 6 feet. It's possible that they are wearing gray T-shirts, white sweatpants, and white gym shoes.

* Joan Hyde, a spokeswoman for the FBI, said, "We're pursuing whatever leads develop. While some of those are out of state, our focus remains primarily in this area," noted the Chicago Sun-Times .

* Although they did not leave the prison with weapons, the two are being considered dangerous.

* Banks is one of the most well-known bank robbers in Chicago history after he managed to steal close to $600,000, of which only about $50,000 has been recovered. Conley is a former strip club host who stole less than $4,000 from a bank in Homewood.

Rachel Bogart provides an in-depth look at current environmental issues and local Chicago news stories. Currently pursuing her master's degree in environmental science, she applies her knowledge and passion to both topics to garner further public awareness.

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