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Come Hungry, Leave In Cuffs: 2 Virginia Inmates Who Used Toothbrush To Escape Jail Arrested Next Day At IHOP, Cops Say

virginia inmates escape jail found at ihop
Source: Newport News Sheriff's Office

Mar. 24 2023, Published 11:52 a.m. ET

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Two inmates in Virginia allegedly escaped jail using a toothbrush and a metal object and police later discovered them at an IHOP restaurant, according to authorities.

On March 20, officials were doing a routine headcount at the Newport News Jail Annex when they discovered John Garza, 27, and Arley Nemo, 43, were missing from their cells, the Newport News Sheriff’s Office said.

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On March 21, officers in Hampton located and arrested the two escapees at an IHOP.

To escape, authorities said the men “began to exploit a construction design weakness utilizing primitive-made tools constructed from a toothbrush and metal object."

Officers said the two inmates reportedly used the improvised tools to gain access to “untied rebars between the walls,” and they “used it to further make their escape.”

The duo were able to scale a containment wall and flee the area, authorities stated.

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Charges for their escape are pending and officials said the facility management and engineering team are working to fix the facility’s “weakness.”

Nemo was being held in the Newport News Jail Annex for credit card fraud, credit card larceny, forgery, possession of burglary tools, grand larceny, contempt of court and a probation violation. Officials said Garza was in jail on charges of contempt of court, probation violations and failure to appear in court.

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