Two inmates escape from exercise yard at Jackson County Jail

MAQUOKETA, Iowa -- The Jackson County Sheriff's Department is searching for two inmates who escaped from the county jail.

On Tuesday, February 28, 2017, inmates were outside in the jail exercise yard. Around 2:45 p.m., two inmates pried open an entry gate, slipped through, and ran off.

"The hydraulic gate is a rather large, steel gate with a hydraulic pump on it, which I thought would be virtually impossible to tamper with or pull open," said chief deputy Steve Schroeder.

Schroeder said the escaped inmates are 19-year-old Andrew Mark Combs and 20-year-old Brian Joseph Willey.

Shortly after their escape, around 3:30 p.m., police received a report of a stolen truck from the 500 block of West Platt Street. The truck was a 2012 gray Ford F250 with Iowa license plates and a toolbox in the back.

Authorities are now looking for the truck nationwide.

"I think it's just a matter of time before they're captured and brought back, and they're going to face additional charges," said Schroeder.

Meanwhile, Maquoketa residents are keeping an eye out for anything suspicious.

"A friend of mine called me, and she said, 'Do you have your store locked? There's inmates that got loose.' So yeah, I was kind of freaked out a little bit about that," said Debbie Shea, who works downtown at Make a Splash Home Decor and Gifts.

Willey and Combs were in jail on burglary charges, still awaiting trial.

Schroeder said he does not believe the men are armed or dangerous, but he is asking everyone to report any sightings or suspicious activity.

Anyone with information can call the Jackson County Sheriff's Office at 563-652-3312.