Down the chimney with care

Officials at a federal Loop jail discovered that two convicted bank robbers had escaped after employees arriving for work at about 7 a.m. today and saw a makeshift rope hanging from the outside of the high-rise facility, federal officials said in charging the two with escape.

Joseph "Jose" Banks and Kenneth Conley made good their escape from the Metropolitan Correctional Center after last being seen for a head count conducted at about 10 p.m. Monday, authorities said.

The two are believed to have scurried down ropes made from bedsheets from the high-rise cell they shared.

Authorities also revealed that in their cell guards found numerous articles of clothing and sheets piled under a blanket in both their beds to make it appear they were asleep.

The window in the cell was broken and the makeshift rope was tied to its bars and hanging down the south side of the MCC, authorities said.
“A rope was fashioned out of bedsheets,’’ said a spokesman for the MCC. “I would imagine that they saved them up."

Conley and Banks, known as the Second-Hand Bandit who was convicted just last week, were first unaccounted for during a 5 a.m. head count, but it's unclear they were still inside the 27-story Metropolitan Correctional Center at the time, U.S. Marshal's Service spokeswoman Belkis Cantor said.

The makeshift rope could be seen dangling along the south side of the MCC, 71 W. Van Buren St.
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5 held on bail, accused in mob action after police shooting

Accused of joining a violent mob that formed after a Chicago police officer shot and killed a suspected robber on Saturday, five men appeared in bond court Sunday.

The suspects, ages 19 to 31, all face misdemeanor charges of mob action. Four of the five are also accused of other crimes.

The crowd gathered midday Saturday in the Back of the Yards neighborhood shortly after a “very violent encounter” led one officer to shoot and kill Jamaal Moore, 23, of the 5600 block of South Shields Avenue authorities said.

Police said two officers confronted Moore, who they believe participated in an armed hold-up of a truck driver earlier Saturday. Moore, who police say appeared to be holding something in his hand, engaged in a tussle with one officer.

When Moore charged at the other officer, she feared for her life and shot him, Superintendent Garry McCarthy said Saturday. Officers didn’t find a gun with Moore. He was carrying a flashlight.

As news of the shooting spread, police said relatives and friends of Moore gathered near the shooting scene in the 1600 block of West Garfield Boulevard.

The atmosphere was contentious, and police reports say bricks were lobbed at patrol cars as people refused to leave the scene.
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