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One of two Chicago jail escapees is caught: authorities

By Mary Wisniewski

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Authorities have captured one of two bank robbers who broke out of a high-rise jail in downtown Chicago this week using a makeshift rope, an FBI spokesman said on Friday.

Joseph Jose Banks was taken into custody without incident at about 11:30 Thursday night in an apartment complex on the city's north side, said FBI spokeswoman Joan Hyde. He will appear in federal court on Friday on a criminal complaint charging him with the escape.

Banks and Kenneth Conley escaped from the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Chicago early on Tuesday morning. The pair apparently broke a window in the cell they shared, squeezed through the opening and lowered themselves nearly 20 stories to the street, authorities said. They made their rope from strips of cloth.

An FBI spokesman said that based on videotape evidence, agents believe the pair hailed a taxi a few blocks from the jail after making their escape.

Banks was convicted of armed robbery this month, and Conley pleaded guilty to bank robbery in October. Both men were set to be sentenced early next year.

According to a federal affidavit, Banks and Conley were cell mates and were present during a physical head count at the jail at 10 p.m. Monday.

But jail employees arriving for work Tuesday morning saw what appeared to be a rope hanging from a window on the south side of the building. When a physical head count was conducted inside the facility, neither Banks nor Conley was present.

Conley is considered armed and dangerous, the FBI said.

Escape carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

(Reporting by Mary Wisniewski)

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