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D157-C and D161 Schools Remain on 'Soft Lockdown'

Frankfort and Frankfort Square schools are taking extra precautions with students' safety after two convicted bank robbers escaped Tuesday morning from the Metropolitan Correctional Center in the Loop and were reportedly seen in Tinley Park.

Schools in Frankfort School District 157-C and Summit Hill School District 161 remain on a 'soft lockdown' today after two convicted bank robbers who escaped from a jail in the Loop were seen Tuesday morning in Tinley Park.

Schools in D161 will keep their doors locked and will have indoor recess until the convicts are apprehended or until the end of the week, said Nancy Hutchinson, administrative assistant to D161 Superintendent Dr. Barb Rains. 

D157-C schools will also lock their doors, but decisions about indoor recess will be made on a day-to-day basis until the district has confirmation that the convicts are no longer in the area, said D157-C Superintendent Dr. Thomas Hurlburt.

Hurlburt also said that police will continue to be present for dropoff and dismissal at all district schools. The superintendent said that he met with Frankfort Police Chief John Burica on Tuesday to discuss the coordination of safety planning for the district. He said the two will meet again to continue the discussion in the coming weeks.

Jose Banks, 37, and Kenneth Conley, 38, are both convicted bank robbers, and should be considered armed and dangerous, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. On Tuesday, authorities surrounded a home in Tinley Park, near 66th Court and 175th Street, but officers later left, and no one was seen taken from the house.

The men escaped from the Metropolitan Correctional Center in the Loop some time between 5 a.m. and 8:45 a.m. on Tuesday, according to a report from the Chicago Tribune. Authorities believe the men used tied-together rope or bed sheets to climb down the building, according to ABC News.

The men were last seen in Tinley Park, though the FBI did not specify their exact location.

Late Tuesay afternoon, authorities announced that they no longer believe the two men are in the Tinley Park area. The search has since been expanded to include all of Chicagoland.

The FBI announced Wednesday morning that it is offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the capture of Banks and Conley, according to an agency press release. 

Banks is described as 5 feet 8 inches, 160 pounds and black. Conley is described as 6 feet, 185 pounds and white. The men were originally wearing orange jumpsuits, but may now be wearing white shirts, sweat pants and white gym shoes.

Anyone with information on the two men should contact the FBI Chicago office at 312-421-6700 or other local law enforcement.

This article includes reporting from Patch contributor Jeff Graveline and Patch editor Joe Vince.

Other Stories About the Search for the Escaped Convicts:

  • Landlord: Mother Turned Away Escaped Convict at Front Door
  • Scenes From a Manhunt (Photo Gallery)
  • Fugitive Search Disrupts Funeral at Nearby Church
  • Orland Park Police Investigating False Bank Robbery Report

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