The FBI is offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the capture of the two convicted bank robbers who escaped yesterday from the Metropolitan Correctional Center.
According to a source close to the investigation the two escapees were spotted by a security camera getting into a cab at 2:30 a.m. Tuesday on Congress Parkway, not far from the high-rise federal jail at 71 West Van Buren Street. They were not wearing their prison jumpsuits as they made their well-planned escape.
Convicted bank robbers Joseph “Jose” Banks and Kenneth Conley were not discovered missing until 7 a.m. yesterday when workers arrived to find a makeshift rope hanging from a 17th floor cell. The cellmates had made the rope from bed sheets and had stuffed clothing into their beds to make it appear they were asleep. They were last accounted for during a 10 p.m. head count on Monday.
A source tells WGN the bed sheets had been sewn together with dental floss. Banks was an aspiring fashion designer who had sewing skills.
The two were spotted yesterday on a Metra train and then soon after at the Tinley Park home of a relative. But an FBI search came up empty, and today it has been quiet on the manhunt front.
Banks and Conley were awaiting sentencing for bank robbeey convictions. Banks was known as the “Second Hand Bandit” who robbed nearly $600,000 from various heists. $500,000 is still unaccounted for.
Both robbers had been in the MCC for over a year. Banks was convicted just last week.
The FBI is investigating a number of leads.
A cousin of Banks tells WGN that she has not heard from him. There was no answer at the North Side home of Banks’ father.