Reward suggested for homeless man who helped find 2 OC jail escapees

SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- A homeless man who helped police capture two of the escaped inmates from Orange County may have some reward money coming his way.

Matthew Hay-Chapman spotted the escapees' stolen van at a Whole Foods supermarket in San Francisco and alerted police.

Police approached Hossein Nayeri, the suspected mastermind of the jailbreak, and he was captured after a short foot chase.

The second fugitive, Jonathan Tieu, was found hiding in the van with ammunition but no gun, Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens said. He surrendered without incident.

MORE: Interview with homeless man who helped capture 2 OC fugitives

A new report prepared by Orange County supervisors Todd Spitzer and Andre Do says Hay-Chapman deserves up to $100,000 for his efforts.

The inmates, Bac Duong, Nayeri and Tieu, spent a week on the run after cutting their way through steel plates at the Central Men's Jail in Santa Ana and rappelling from the roof on Jan. 22.

MORE: Timeline of search effort for 3 escaped Orange County inmates

The escapees took a taxi driver hostage, then stole the van and fled to San Jose. Duong helped the taxi driver flee and surrendered at an auto repair shop in Santa Ana about a week after their escape. Tieu and Nayeri were caught in San Francisco the next day.

Orange County supervisors may vote on awarding Hay-Chapman later this month.

"The public's engagement provided law enforcement with the information necessary to capture these fugitives," Do said in a press release. "Authorizing the reward is only part of our ongoing review process to ensure that we prevent anything like this from happening again."
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