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PHONE TIP LEADS TO PROBE OF ATTEMPTED JAIL BREAK

SHARE PHONE TIP LEADS TO PROBE OF ATTEMPTED JAIL BREAK

Salt Lake County Jail officials are investigating what is the first attempted jail break in recent history.

As many as eight inmates, two "high-profile" criminals, have spent several hours chipping away at the jail's 6-inch concrete ceiling. A telephone tip about their work led officers to a 4-inch-wide hole in one cell on the second floor last weekend."They had actually punched through the ceiling, but it looks like they had at least several more hours of work to go before anyone could have gotten through," said sheriff's spokesman Rod Norton.

Deputies have not identified everyone involved in the attempted break, and no charges have been filed, Norton said.

"We're extremely concerned about how they got the tools," he said, noting that some inmates leave the jail daily to perform cleaning duties on the jail's grounds. "But they all go through shakedowns before they enter their cells."

Deputies confiscated a hacksaw, claw hammer and screwdriver.