2 remaining escaped inmates arrested in San Francisco

This image provided by the Orange County, Calif., Sheriff's Department on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016, shows three jail inmates charged with violent crimes who escaped from the Central Men's Jail in Santa Ana, Calif. The men from left are, 37-year-old Hossein Nayeri, charged with kidnapping and torture; 20-year-old Jonathan Tieu, who is charged with murder, and 43-year-old Bac Duong, charged with attempted murder. Sheriff's Lt. Jeff Hallock said Saturday that the inmates were last seen at 5 a.m. on Friday and could have escaped anytime between then and late Friday night. (Orange County Sheriff's Department via AP)

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP)- Two inmates who remained at large after breaking out of a California jail more than a week ago have been arrested, Orange County sheriff’s officials said Saturday.

Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens says a tip from an observant woman led San Francisco police to catch two escaped inmates who had been on the run for more than a week.

San Francisco police were responding about 8:50 a.m. Saturday to an unrelated call when a woman said she saw a parked white van that looked like the one authorities said the fugitives had stolen, Hutchens said during a news conference. As officers approached the van, 37-year-old Hossein Nayeri started running. He was caught after a short chase.

The sheriff says officers then went back to the van and found 20-year-old Jonathan Tieu hiding.

Police found ammunition but no gun in the van.

Jonathan Tieu, 20, and Hossein Nayeri, 37, were in the custody of the San Francisco Police Department, the Orange County sheriff’s department said on its Twitter feed. A news conference was scheduled for noon.

Authorities had been hunting for Tieu, Nayeri and a third inmate, 43-year-old Bac Duong, in Southern California since they pulled off a brazen jail escape on Jan. 22.

On Friday, Duong walked into an auto repair shop and said he wanted to surrender. He told investigators he had last seen the other two inmates Thursday afternoon in San Jose, shifting the manhunt 400 miles to the north.

The three men had all been jailed and awaiting trial on charges in separate violent crimes. They were held in a dormitory with about 65 other men in the jail about 30 miles southeast of Los Angeles.

The men escaped in the early morning hours after cutting a hole in a metal grate then crawling through plumbing tunnels and onto the roof of a four-story jail building.

They pushed aside barbed wire and rappelled down using a rope made of bed linen.

It took jail staff 16 hours to realize the three men were missing.

On Thursday, authorities arrested a woman who taught English inside the jail. Nooshafarin Ravaghi, 44, gave Nayeri a paper copy of a Google Earth map that showed an aerial view of the entire jail compound, Hallock said.

She was booked on suspicion of being an accessory to a felony and was being held pending a court appearance set for Monday.

It wasn’t clear if she had a lawyer.

Ravaghi and Nayeri also exchanged “personal and close” handwritten letters, but sheriff’s spokesman Lt. Jeff Hallock could not say if the two were romantically involved.

Duong, a native of Vietnam, has been held since last month on charges of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon.

It was the first escape in nearly three decades from the Central Men’s Jail, built in 1968, that holds 900 men.

Tieu is charged with murder and attempted murder in a 2011 gang shooting. Nayeri had been held without bond since September 2014 on charges of kidnapping, torture, aggravated mayhem and burglary.


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