Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Fugitive Obtained Key To Unlock Cuffs, Shackles.

Byline: Guillermo Contreras Journal Staff Writer

Convicted bank robber Byron Shane Chubbuck used a key to free himself from his restraints before escaping from a prisoner transport van Thursday, a federal law enforcement officer said Friday.

It was the fourth time he had made plans to escape since he was arrested for bank robbery in August 1999, the FBI said.

Authorities plan to look into how he obtained the key but said the focus first is on recapturing him.

"The investigation revealed that Chubbuck used a key to free himself," said Tom Bustamante, acting U.S. marshal for New Mexico. "At this point, we don't know how he obtained it."

Bustamante said the key was found inside the van.

"One thing we're really focusing our interviews on is trying to locate this guy," Bustamante said. "We've conducted a preliminary investigation into the events leading up to the escape and surrounding the escape, but we expect to complete a full investigation within the next week or two. …

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