Daring escape from Chicago lockup

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CHICAGO -- A hunt for two bank robbers who used a makeshift rope to pull off a daring escape from a high-rise lockup pushed into a second day Wednesday, with a $50,000 reward offered for information leading to their recapture.

Joseph "Jose" Banks, 37, and Kenneth Conley, 38, apparently broke a cell window, pulled out the bars, then descended almost 20 stories to escape the 27-story Metropolitan Correctional Center early Tuesday. In the cell, investigators found a broken window and bars inside a mattress, according to an FBI affidavit. Stuffed under blankets on two beds were clothing and sheets, shaped to resemble a body.

Hours after the escape, the rope of bed sheets could be seen dangling down the side of the building, at least 200 feet long and knotted about every 6 feet.

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A break in the investigation came Wednesday when footage taken from a video camera showed the two getting into a taxi at Congress Parkway and Michigan Avenue, headed south.

-- AP, with Chicago Tribune

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