SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — Sheriff’s deputies and SWAT officers surrounded a house Tuesday afternoon in the search for one of two escaped Santa Clara County jail inmates.
The house is on the 2100 block of Inman Way in East San Jose. The police activity prompted a lockdown of three schools in the vicinity: Most Holy Trinity School, Overfelt High School and Katherine R. Smith Elementary School.
The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s office said the raid on the home and other operations in the county Tuesday were directed at “known hi-target associates of Rogelio Chavez.”
Neighbors were startled by the raid.
“We heard what sounded like three gunshots. So, we rushed outside to see what was going on. The cop just told us to go back inside. So, we were scared, you know,” neighbor Elizabeth Cerna said.
Authorities have offered a $20,000 reward Friday for information leading to the capture of Chavez and Laron Campbell, who broke out of a jail in San Jose on Thanksgiving Eve.
The men escaped with two other prisoners by cutting through the bars and rappelling to the ground. The two others were quickly apprehended.
It was not clear where in the county Tuesday’s other raids were held. The sheriff’s office said investigators were still processing information gathered in the raid on the Inman Way house and were interviewing witnesses.
On Sunday, deputies responded to tips that Chavez was at or in the area of the Days Inn motel in Gilroy. Chavez was not found but after questioning individuals there, deputies arrested 35-year-old San Jose resident Emily Vaca for allegedly helping Chavez evade capture, according to the sheriff’s office.
Investigators believe Vaca drove Chavez around to different places in Santa Clara County to help him elude an intense manhunt.
“We believed she’s been transporting Mr. Chavez from one location to another. And we found her at the Days Inn in Gilroy where he’s been staying,” Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department Spokesman Sgt. Richard Glennon said.