Two Virginia inmates appear to have taken some notes from Andy Dufresne and his passageway to freedom.
Inmates John Garza, 37, and Arley Nemo, 43, reportedly tunneled their way through the cell walls of Newport News Jail Annex and escaped on Monday afternoon, Newport News Sheriff’s Office told ABC News. However, their freedom was short-lived after they were caught at a nearby IHOP.
Garza had been in custody since December on probation violations and contempt of court charges. Nemo was in custody on credit card fraud, grand larceny, and other charges since October. Both were discovered to be missing during a routine head count Monday evening before staff discovered they had burrowed through the cell wall.
The tunnel led to the outside of the building, where the escapees had to then climb over a security wall before exiting the premises, according to authorities. However, it’s still unclear how exactly the pair managed to pull off such a stunt.
The search is on for two men who escaped from the Newport News Jail Annex this afternoon. Call 9-1-1 or Crime Line with any information that will lead to their capture. Details: https://t.co/OWoZWvBmxW #newportnews pic.twitter.com/Q2N9QgTo98
— Newport News Sheriff’s Office (@NnsoJ) March 21, 2023
Newport News Sheriff’s Office took to Twitter to alert the community about their escape and for any details on the inmates’ whereabouts.
The two were eventually found and arrested while sitting at a table in a nearby IHOP around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday, according to the Daily Press. Law enforcement was tipped off by a bystander in the pancake house who recognized the jailbirds from news reports, a spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office told the outlet.
Once they were found, the inmates reportedly surrendered peacefully and were arrested and taken back into custody.