At least five arrests have been made in connection with the three inmates who escaped Southern California jail, authorities said Wednesday.
Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens did not say what the connection to the inmates was, but added that more were expected as the search continues for Jonathan Tieu, 20, Bac Duong, 43, and Hossein Nayeri, 37, who were all awaiting trial for various violent crimes before they escaped the jail on Friday.
Hutchens said that investigators believe the trio had “outside help” to facilitate the escape.
She told reporters at a news conference that investigators are focusing on county gangs as they search for the inmates and look into how they broke out.
Hutchens said the men would have needed powerful cutting tools that would not have been available to them inside to get through thick metal, and investigators are looking into how they could have obtained them.
The jail has revised its headcount procedures following the escape because it took so long to discover the men were missing, something that she finds deeply troubling.
“It’s every sheriff’s nightmare,” Hutchens said.
The men escaped after cutting a hole in a metal grate then crawling through plumbing tunnels and onto the roof.
They pushed aside barbed wire and rappelled down using a rope made of bed sheets.
Hutchens added that one of the inmates, Hossein Nayeri, was probably the mastermind of the escape.