Santa Clara Co. sheriff searching for 2 escaped inmates

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Santa Clara County sheriff's deputies are looking for two inmates who are part of a group that made a daring escape from the county jail. Two have been caught, but two more are still at large.

This escape is just like what you would see in the movies. The inmates escaped from an older wing of the jail that was built in 1950s. Surprisingly, there are no security cameras in that area.

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Authorities held a news conference on the search for two inmates who escaped from Santa Clara County jail.

A bent bar could be seen from the jail cell window. A makeshift rope was used by the four inmates to escape. They were all housed in the same cell. Inside the cell there is a missing bar and the bed sheet tied to one side out the window. And what's left of a bar that was cut off.

"The inmates are very sophisticated to the point that they have a lot of time where they can sit and think of how to get out of jail," said Santa Clara Co. Sheriff's Dept. Lt. Elbert Rivera.

Investigators have now processed the cell. They found no tools. Still at large, are two inmates, Rogelio Chavez, Lanon Campbell, both being held on various charges including firearms violations.

The jail break happened shortly after 11 p.m. Wednesday night. Some 45 sheriff's deputies with the assistance of several law enforcement agencies were involved in the manhunt. They set up a perimeter around the main jail. Two of the four inmates were caught immediately by a deputy who was patrolling the grounds outside the jail.

"He saw some movement of someone in the shadows and saw the clothing hanging from the window and was able to apprehend two of the escapees," said Santa Clara County Sheriff's Sgt. Rich Glennon.

They escapees may have had help from the outside. That's something investigators are looking at, as well as video from cameras.

This is the latest in what's been a bad year for the jail facility. In February, deputies were accused of using excessive force in the beating death of a mentally ill inmate. In March, Sheriff Laurie Smith used her own credit card to buy a security camera system from Costco to keep a closer eye on the workings of the jail.

Deputies say Chavez and Campbell should be considered dangerous so anyone who spots them should call 911 immediately.

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