Maybe they broke out of jail for the buttermilk pancakes.
IHOP patrons spotted John M. Garza, 37, and Arley V. Nemo, 43, before dawn Tuesday at an IHOP in Hampton and called the police.
They were discovered missing from their cell during a head count Monday night.
In a news release, authorities described the men using primitive-made tools constructed from a toothbrush and metal object to “exploit a construction design weakness.”
“Those tools facilitated their access to untied rebars between the walls,” the news release said.
Once outside but still within the containment wall, the two scaled a wall and escaped.
Newport News Sheriff Gabe Morgan praised the alert citizens.
Garza had been in custody on several charges, including contempt of court, probation violations, and failure to appear.
Nemo, a Gloucester resident, was being held on numerous charges, including credit card fraud, larceny, forgery, possession of burglary tools, grand larceny, contempt of court, and probation violation.
Authorities launched a criminal investigation and an internal investigation to minimize the chances of such an event happening again.
The sheriff did not say what they ordered.