Two inmates managed to escape from the Newport News Jail Annex using "primitive-made tools" to dig out of their cell. The Newport News Sheriff's Office said that John M. Garza, 37, and Arley V. Nemo, 43, used a toothbrush and metal object to break a hole in the wall of their prison cell.
The two men then used "untied rebars between the wall" to dig their way out of the prison.
Garza and Nemo were reported missing at 7 p.m. on Monday (March 20) night during a routine head count.
The following morning, patrons at an IHOP in Hampton, Virginia, recognized the men and called the police. Officers responded to the restaurant and took them into custody without incident.
"I extend my gratitude to the Newport News Police Department, the Hampton Police Department, and the James City County Police Department for their assistance in our attempt to recapture these inmates," said Sheriff Gabe Morgan. "Moreover, I'm thankful for the citizens who observed Garza and Nemo at the IHOP and notified law enforcement. It reinforces what we always say, 'see something, say something.'"
Garza was being held on charges of contempt of court, probation violations, and failure to appear. Meanwhile, Nemo was being held on charges of credit card fraud, credit card larceny, forgery, possession of burglary tools, grand larceny, contempt of court, and a probation violation.
Officials said that additional charges for their escape are pending.