Sheriff's deputies search Gilroy hotel for escaped inmate

GILROY, Calif. (KGO) -- The search continues for two inmates who escaped from the Santa Clara County jail on Thanksgiving Day.

Investigators believe they nearly captured one of them, Rogelio Chavez, in a raid on a Gilroy motel this morning. Sheriff's investigators believe they were close, maybe minutes away from capturing the escaped inmate, but once again he slipped away.

RELATED: Santa Clara Co. sheriff still looking for 2 escaped inmates

You wouldn't normally think of this Days Inn just off 101 in Gilroy as a tourist spot, but for Eddie Esch, visiting from Germany, it may have been the most exciting place he's ever been.

"I look out of the window and see all the police and I say come here come here to me and they say me and I'm very scared and I run away into the bathroom. Yeah, and that was our night," said Esch.

Esch witnessed a major law enforcement raid just outside his window, this morning. The Santa Clara County sheriff's department, along with Gilroy police, acting on several tips from the public, thought they had one of the two escaped inmates, Rogelio Chavez, trapped inside a room. Three people were arrested, but Chavez escaped again. Nerves were rattled at the motel.

Bianca Acosta rented a room here because the plumbing in her home ruptured.

"I thought oh my god. I should have picked a Ramada," said Acosta.

After all the excitement died down at the Days Inn, Another tip, just before 7 a.m. A man in a hooded sweatshirt was driving in the area and was pulled over on Monterey Highway near San Martin Avenue.
It was a false alarm, the driver and passenger were let go. But tips continue to roll in after the sheriff's department offered up a $20,000 reward for the capture of Laron Campbell and Rogelio Chavez.

"We're hoping the public continues to call. These are dangerous people who are out there," said Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith.

The room is still taped off, this is a place the sheriff's department could come back to help in their search. But right now, two inmates have been on the run for five days. They don't want them to make it to six.

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