Four prisoners cut their way through the bars of a second-story window and rappelled down the side of a San Jose jail using a makeshift rope of bedding and clothing before making their way clear of the facility, the Santa Clara County Sheriff's office said Thursday.
Two of the men were recaptured just outside the jail after the Wednesday night escape, but the other two, Rogelio Chavez and Lanon Campbell, remained on the lam early Thursday, Sgt. Rich Glennon said.
Crime scene detectives were working to figure out how the men were able to cut through the window's bars. A deputy patrolling the jail's perimeter spotted the men as they made their escape.
"He kind of thought he saw some movement in the shadows looked up and saw some bedding in the window," Glennon told the Associated Press.
Chavez and Campbell were both facing false imprisonment and weapons charges, among other counts, when they made their escape. Several local agencies are searching for the men, with help from dogs and a helicopter using thermal imaging.
The men were last seen in their jail clothing, consisting of an orange shirt and gray pants. Chavez has a distinctive face tattoo that resembles an inky gash going through his left eye.
The recaptured men, whose names were not released, are expected to face charges for the escape.
Glennon warned the public not to approach the men if they see them and to remain vigilant.
"We definitely don't want the community to approach these individuals, but be aware of anything suspicious," he said.
9:10 a.m.: This article was updated with more details and comments from a sheriff's Sgt. Rich Glennon.