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Authorities seek aid in finding escaped California prisoners

SAN JOSE — Authorities asked for the public's help in tracking down a pair of potentially dangerous California prisoners who cut through the bars of a jail window on Thanksgiving Eve, rappelled to the ground on a bedsheet rope and escaped.

Santa Clara County sheriff's Sgt. Rich Glennon said four inmates got out through a second-floor window of the county's main jail late Wednesday and two were captured almost immediately.

Authorities released photos of the severed bars and the bedsheet tied to one of them, but said they didn't know what tools the inmates used or how they had gotten them.

"No cutting instruments were located inside the cell or in the surrounding area," Glennon said.

He identified the men who escaped as Rogelio Chavez and Laron Campbell.

Chavez, 33, and Campbell, 26, are facing possible life sentences if convicted of burglary, extortion, false imprisonment and other charges they were being held on.

Authorities asked for the public's help in finding them and warned that anyone who sees them should call 911 rather than try to apprehend them. Authorities didn't know if the two were armed but said they should be considered dangerous.

"We definitely don't want the community to approach these individuals, but be aware of anything suspicious," Glennon said.

The escape was discovered by a deputy patrolling the jail's perimeter,

"He kind of thought he saw some movement in the shadows, looked up and saw some bedding in the window," Glennon said.

Chavez and Campbell were believed to be wearing jail clothing, consisting of an orange top over gray bottoms, when they escaped.

Chavez has a distinctive face tattoo resembling an inky gash going through his left eye. He was booked into the Northern California jail in August.

Campbell, who stands 6-feet-4, had been jailed there since February 2015.

Glennon said deputies were being assisted by other local and federal law enforcement agencies.

A similar escape was made from a Southern California jail in January by three men authorities later determined had planned it for weeks.

They cut through the main Orange County jail's fifth-floor bars with tools smuggled in by an outsider, rappelled to the ground and escaped in a get-away car.

They later abducted a cab driver and forced him to drive them to Northern California.

The escape began to unravel when one of the men, fearful the others would kill the driver, fled to Southern California with him and surrendered. The others were captured soon after in San Francisco.


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