Last two California jail escapees caught in San Francisco after tip

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Last of the Escaped California Fugitives Captured

The last two fugitives who broke out of a California jail last week were arrested on a tip from a man who saw their stolen van in the parking lot of a San Francisco Whole Foods supermarket, authorities said on Saturday, the day after a third escapee turned himself in.

The manhunt that began after the three inmates escaped from an Orange County maximum-security jail on Jan. 22 came to an end when Hossein Nayeri, 37, and Jonathan Tieu, 20, were apprehended in San Francisco's park district about 375 miles (604 km) north of the lockup, police said.

READ EARLIER:One escaped California inmate surrenders, others may be in San Jose

A man approached police officers and pointed out a white van in the parking lot of a Whole Foods market that looked similar to the one the fugitives reportedly stole in Los Angeles after escaping, San Francisco police spokeswoman Grace Gatpandan said at a news conference.

Nayeri fled when police approached the van, Gatpandan said. After a brief chase, officers caught the fugitive. Tieu, who police said was hiding in the van, was arrested a short time later, she said.


Photos from the chilling manhunt:

19 PHOTOS
Inmates rappelled from roof to escape California jail, manhunt
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Last two California jail escapees caught in San Francisco after tip
Orange County Sheriff's Department Public Information Officer Lt. Jeff Hallock, right, says escaped inmate Bac Duong, marked "Captured," middle, surrendered in Orange County earlier Friday, Jan. 29, 2016, during a news conference in Santa Ana, Calif. Duong told investigators he was with the other two fugitives in San Jose, Calif., on Thursday. Hallock says the other two men, Jonathan Tieu and Hossein Nayeri, may now be headed to Fresno in Central California, where there may be associates who can help them. Authorities had previously said they thought all three men were still in Southern California. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
This undated photo provided by the Orange County Sheriff's Department shows Nooshafarin Ravaghi. Ravaghi, 44, who taught English classes at Central Men's Jail in Santa Ana, Calif., was was arrested Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016, on suspicion of helping three inmates escape the lockup. She was arrested nearly a week after the men â one an alleged killer â cut their way out of the jail and rappelled down an outside wall last Friday. (Orange County Sheriff's Department via AP)
This undated photo provided by the Orange County Sheriff's Department shows Hossein Nayeri. Sheriff Sandra Hutchens earlier this week cited Nayeri's troubled and conniving past when she labeled him as "most probably the mastermind" of a stunning jail break that blindsided authorities and has put three inmates on the loose. Nayeri racked up a stunning list of criminal exploits in the decade leading up to his breakout, including a high-speed police chase, a sordid torture case and a flight overseas to avoid capture. (Orange County Sheriff's Department via AP)
Orange County Sheriff agents search for additional suspects as they search the back of a hotel in Santa Ana, Calif., on Friday, Jan. 29, 2016. Authorities say they have captured one of three inmates who escaped from a California jail last week while facing charges involving violent crimes. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
Orange County Sheriff deputies take cover as law enforcement agents search for fugitive inmates in Santa Ana, Calif., on Friday, Jan. 29, 2016. Authorities say they have captured one of three inmates who escaped from a California jail last week while facing charges involving violent crimes. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
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)
This undated combo photo provided by the Orange County Sheriff's Office shows tattoos and other markings on the body Bac Duong, one of three inmates who escaped Friday, Jan. 22, 2016, from the county's Central Men's Jail in Santa Ana, Calif. Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens said Wednesday that several arrests have been made in the investigation, but the inmates themselves have not been captured. (Orange County Sheriff's Office via AP)
Orange County Sheriff's Department Public Information Officer Lt. Jeff Hallock, left, takes questions from the media in Santa Ana, Calif., on Monday, Jan. 25, 2016. Three inmates from Orange County Men's Central Jail, including a man suspected in a killing, cut through metal, crawled through plumbing tunnels, climbed a roof and rappelled down four stories to freedom using ropes made from bedsheets. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Authorities with the Orange County Central Jail stand on the top jail floor in Santa Ana, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016. Three inmates, including a man suspected of a killing, cut through metal, crawled through plumbing tunnels, climbed a roof and rappelled down four stories to freedom last week using ropes made from bedsheets. The sheriff's department has been slow to add more rooftop security cameras at the jail despite a grand jury's recommendations for eight years straight, according to a report Monday. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Orange County sheriff's deputies investigate early Saturday morning, Jan. 23, 2016, after three jail inmates charged with violent crimes escaped from Central Men's Jail in Santa Ana, Calif. The men include 20-year-old Jonathan Tieu, who is charged with murder; 37-year-old Hossein Nayeri, charged with kidnapping and torture; 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. Friday morning and could have escaped anytime between then and late Friday night. (AP Photo/Kevin Warn)
This Jan. 23, 2016 photo provided by the Orange County Sheriff's Office shows the exterior of Central Men's Jail in Santa Ana, Calif., from which three inmates escaped sometime Friday, Jan. 22. Investigators are pursuing several leads in their search, and in the meantime a separate probe was launched into how the inmates managed to obtain the tools to cut through the steel bars and plumbing tunnels to make it to the roof. (Orange County Sheriff's Office via AP)
This Jan. 23, 2016 photo provided by the Orange County Sheriff's Office shows a closeup view of a vent screen that had been cut and removed inside a cell at Central Men's Jail in Santa Ana, Calif., from which three inmates escaped sometime Friday, Jan. 22. Investigators are pursuing several leads in their search, and in the meantime a separate probe was launched into how the inmates managed to obtain the tools to cut through the steel bars and plumbing tunnels to make it to the roof. (Orange County Sheriff's Office via AP)
This Jan. 23, 2016 photo provided by the Orange County Sheriff's Office shows a cell and a vent screen that had been cut, near the floor at center rear, at Central Men's Jail in Santa Ana, Calif., from which three inmates escaped sometime Friday, Jan. 22. Investigators are pursuing several leads in their search, and in the meantime a separate probe was launched into how the inmates managed to obtain the tools to cut through the steel bars and plumbing tunnels to make it to the roof. (Orange County Sheriff's Office via AP)
This undated booking photo provided by the Orange County, Calif., Sheriff's Department on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016, shows 20-year-old Jonathan Tieu, one of three jail inmates charged with violent crimes, who escaped from the Central Men's Jail in Santa Ana, Calif. The men include Tieu, who is charged with murder; 37-year-old Hossein Nayeri, charged with kidnapping and torture; 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. and could have escaped anytime between then and late Friday night. (Orange County Sheriff's Department via AP)
This undated booking photo provided by the Orange County, Calif., Sheriff's Department on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016, shows 37-year-old Hossein Nayeri, one of three jail inmates charged with violent crimes, who escaped from the Central Men's Jail in Santa Ana, Calif. The men include 20-year-old Jonathan Tieu, who is charged with murder; Nayeri, charged with kidnapping and torture; 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. and could have escaped anytime between then and late Friday night. (Orange County Sheriff's Department via AP)
This undated booking photo provided by the Orange County, Calif., Sheriff's Department on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016, shows 43-year-old Bac Duong, one of three jail inmates charged with violent crimes, who escaped from the Central Men's Jail in Santa Ana, Calif. The men include 20-year-old Jonathan Tieu, who is charged with murder; 37-year-old Hossein Nayeri, charged with kidnapping and torture; and Duong, charged with attempted murder. Sheriff's Lt. Jeff Hallock said Saturday that the inmates were last seen at 5 a.m. and could have escaped anytime between then and late Friday night. (Orange County Sheriff's Department via AP)
This Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016, photo provided by the Orange County Sheriff's Office shows a cord made of an undetermined fabric that facilitated the escape of three inmates from Central Men's Jail in Santa Ana, Calif., sometime Friday. Investigators are pursuing several leads in their search for the inmates, and in the meantime a separate probe was launched into how the inmates managed to obtain the tools to cut through the steel bars and plumbing tunnels to make it to the roof. (Orange County Sheriff's Office via AP)
Orange County sheriff's deputies and a search dog investigate early Saturday morning, Jan. 23, 2016, after three jail inmates charged with violent crimes escaped from Central Men's Jail in Santa Ana, Calif. The men include 20-year-old Jonathan Tieu, who is charged with murder; 37-year-old Hossein Nayeri, charged with kidnapping and torture; 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. Friday morning and could have escaped anytime between then and late Friday night. (AP Photo/Kevin Warn)
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The white van appears to be the same vehicle the two men stole and were believed to be living in, Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens said at a separate news conference, where she expressed relief over the capture.

"My fear was someone in the community was going to get hurt, because they really had nothing to lose," Hutchens said.

The Orange County Sheriff's Department operates the jail in Santa Ana from which the three prisoners escaped.

The daring Jan. 22 breakout recalled the escape of a pair of convicted murderers from an upstate New York prison last year. They evaded capture for three weeks before one of them was killed and the other was captured near the Canadian border.

Orange County officials had offered a $200,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the three inmates. On Saturday, Hutchens said she hoped the citizen who reported seeing the van in San Francisco could receive a reward.

San Francisco police found rounds of .380-caliber ammunition in the van but did not locate a gun, Gatpandan said.

The third escapee, Bac Duong, 43, gave himself up on Friday in Santa Ana, officials said.

Nayeri, the presumed mastermind of the breakout, was in the Orange County jail on charges stemming from the 2012 mutilation torture of a kidnapping victim.

Tieu was facing murder charges, and Duong has been charged with attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon, among other crimes. The pair is reputed to be connected with Vietnamese-American street gangs.

The men made their getaway by cutting through steel grating inside the jail, climbing through a plumbing conduit to the roof and lowering themselves four floors to the ground with bedsheets, authorities said. Their disappearance went unnoticed for about 16 hours.

On Tuesday, they prepaid $200 cash for two nights in a smoking room at the Alameda Motel in San Jose, the Los Angeles Times quoted the motel manager as saying.

As in the New York breakout, a female civilian employee of the correctional facility helped in the California escape, authorities say.

Nooshafarin Ravaghi, who taught English at the Orange County jail, was arrested on Thursday. She is accused of furnishing the inmates with Google Maps information that included overviews of the jail rooftop and surrounding areas.

Ravaghi, who is expected to be arraigned on Monday, had befriended Nayeri, according to authorities.

In the New York escape, the fugitive inmates had help from a female prison employee who allegedly had sexual relations with one of them. She was sentenced to seven years for her role.




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