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Chicago Prison Break Update: 1 of 2 bank robbers who escaped high-rise prison arrested, authorities say

This undated photo provided by the FBI shows , Kenneth Conley, left and Jose Banks two inmates who escaped from the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Chicago Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012. Chicago Police Sgt. Michael Lazarro says their disappearance was discovered at about 8:45 Tuesday morning. Lazarro says the pair used a rope or bed sheets to climb from the building. (AP Photo/FBI,HOPD) HOPD

Kenneth Conley (left) and Joseph Banks
AP Photo/FBI,HOPD

(CBS/AP) CHICAGO - Police arrested one of two convicted bank robbers Thursday evening, one day after they made a daring escape from a high-rise federal jail in Chicago, an FBI spokeswoman said early Friday

Pictures: Inmates escape Chicago prison

Special Agent Joan Hyde said 37-year-old Joseph Banks was captured without incident in Chicago. Agents and officers from the Chicago FBI's Violent Crimes Task Force, along with officers from the Chicago Police Department, arrested Banks about 11:30 p.m. Thursday, Hyde told The Associated Press in an email.

Authorities are still searching for 38-year-old Kenneth Conley, who fled the jail with Banks early Tuesday.

Banks and Conley broke a large hole into the bottom of a 6-inch wide window of the Metropolitan Correctional Center, dropped a makeshift rope made of bed sheets out and climbed down about 20 stories to the ground.

The escape went unnoticed for hours, with surveillance video from a nearby street showing the two hop into a cab shortly before 3 a.m. Tuesday. They had changed out of their orange jail-issued jumpsuits. The facility discovered the two men were gone around 7 a.m., and found clothing and sheets shaped to resemble a body under blankets on their beds.

A massive manhunt involving state, federal and local law enforcement agencies was launched, as SWAT teams stormed into the home of Conley's relative only to learn the two escapees had been there and left. The authorities searched other area homes and businesses - even a strip club where Conley once worked.

Banks, known as the "Second-Hand Bandit" because he wore used clothes during his heists, was convicted last week of robbing two banks and attempting to rob two others. Authorities said he stole almost $600,000, and most of that still is missing.

During trial, he had to be restrained because he threatened to walk out of the courtroom. He acted as his own attorney and verbally sparred with the prosecutor, at times arguing that U.S. law didn't apply to him because he was a sovereign citizen of a group that was above state and federal law.

Conley pleaded guilty last October to robbing a Homewood Bank last year of nearly $4,000. Conley, who worked at the time at a suburban strip club, wore a coat and tie when he robbed the bank and had a gun stuffed in his waistband.

Complete coverage of the Chicago Prison Break on Crimesider

  • Crimesider Staff

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