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Search for escaped inmates leads police to Gilroy hotel

Search for escaped inmates leads police to Gilroy hotel
Rogelio Chavez, left, and Laron Campbell escaped from a San Jose jail last week. (Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office)

A search for two Santa Clara County inmates who escaped nearly five days ago led authorities to a Gilroy hotel, where detectives came up empty-handed Monday.

Rogelio Chavez, 33, and Laron Campbell, 26, have been at large since their escape from Santa Clara County Main Jail South shortly after 11 p.m. Wednesday.

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The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office received several tips that Chavez was in Gilroy, and those tips connected him to the Days Inn on Murray Avenue, said Sgt. Rich Glennon, with the sheriff's office.

Detectives set up surveillance around the hotel about 11:15 p.m. Sunday, Glennon said, and maintained it through most of the night.

In the predawn hours Monday, authorities tried to make contact with the room believed to be associated with Chavez, but he was not found inside, Glennon said.

"Unfortunately he was not apprehended," Glennon said. "The search still continues, but definitely getting close."

The Associated Press reported that authorities took multiple people into custody for questioning. Glennon declined to comment on that.

"Because it is an ongoing search, we're not trying to tip them off too much as to who we're talking to," Glennon said.

Chavez and Campbell escaped with two other inmates by cutting through bars covering a second-story window. They then rappelled to the ground using blankets tied together, Glennon said.

Two inmates were immediately apprehended, but Chavez and Campbell escaped, authorities said.

Authorities have not recovered any cutting device at this point, Glennon said. None of the other inmates in the cell at the time of the escape are cooperating, Glennon said.

Chavez of San Jose was booked into the Santa Clara County jail on Aug. 17 and was held on various charges including burglary, extortion, false imprisonment, resisting arrest and firearms violations.

Campbell of Palo Alto was booked into the jail on Feb. 12, 2015, and was held on charges including robbery, false imprisonment, criminal threats and firearms violations.

Since the announcement last week of a $20,000 reward, authorities have received a "steady stream of tips related to these two individuals," Glennon said.

"Last night was probably the most the tips have come together on a location," Glennon said. "It's definitely encouraging, the help we've gotten from the public."

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Twitter: @Brittny_Mejia

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