Two inmates who allegedly used a toothbrush to escape from a Newport News, Virginia, jail are back in custody after they were caught at an IHOP, authorities said.
John M. Garza, 37, and Arley V. Nemo, 43, were discovered missing from their cell around 7:15 p.m. Monday, the Newport News Sheriff's Office said in a news release. During a preliminary investigation, authorities found the men exploited a construction design weakness by using "primitive-made tools" made by a toothbrush and a metal object, deputies said.
The tools allowed them to access to untied bars between the walls and once gaining access to the rebar, they used it to escape, according to the sheriff's office. Once they were outside, Garza and Nemo climbed a wall and left the jail.
They were eventually found at an IHOP in Hampton and arrested by police officers Tuesday morning.
Newport News Sheriff Gabe Morgan thanked local police agencies and citizens for their help in catching Nemo and Garza.
"It reinforces what we always say 'see something, say something,'" Morgan said in a statement.
Authorities said they will review and formulate ways to mitigate the "facility weakness" and acknowledged the flaw is present throughout the jail.
Garza was in custody on several charges including contempt of court, probation violations and failure to appear. Nemo was held on numerous charges, such as credit card fraud, credit card larceny, possession of burglar tools, grand larceny, contempt of court and probation violation. Charges in connection with their escape are pending, authorities said.
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