Inmates who escaped jail through a hole cut with toothbrush and metal object arrested at IHOP



John M. Garza, 37, left, and Arley V. Nemo, right, briefly escaped from a jail in Virginia and were found at a local IHOP. (Photos from city of Newport News Sheriff’s Office)

Maybe they broke out of jail for the buttermilk pancakes.

Two inmates were caught this week at an IHOP in Virginia hours after breaking out.

IHOP patrons spotted John M. Garza, 37, and Arley V. Nemo, 43, before dawn Tuesday at an IHOP in Hampton and called the police.

They were discovered missing from their cell during a head count Monday night.

In a news release, authorities described the men using primitive-made tools constructed from a toothbrush and metal object to “exploit a construction design weakness.”

“Those tools facilitated their access to untied rebars between the walls,” the news release said.

Once outside but still within the containment wall, the two scaled a wall and escaped.

Newport News Sheriff Gabe Morgan praised the alert citizens.

“It reinforces what we always say, ‘See something, say something,’” he said.

Garza had been in custody on several charges, including contempt of court, probation violations, and failure to appear.

Nemo, a Gloucester resident, was being held on numerous charges, including credit card fraud, larceny, forgery, possession of burglary tools, grand larceny, contempt of court, and probation violation.

Authorities launched a criminal investigation and an internal investigation to minimize the chances of such an event happening again.

The sheriff did not say what they ordered.

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