Best Escape Phoenix 2012 - Jairo Contreras, in a laundry cart
In February, burglary suspect Jairo Contreras escaped from a jail run by the self-proclaimed "toughest sheriff" in America, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Contreras must have thought about this one for weeks — he hopped in a laundry cart and got wheeled out. Contreras was just about to be released from the jail on work furlough, but decided to be carted out instead. Arpaio informed the public about this two weeks after the fact, as the Sheriff's Office said it used "cell phone technology" to track down Contreras at his girlfriend's house in Sante Fe. As the U.S. Marshal's Office informed New Times after Contreras' arrest, the MCSO literally had nothing to do with tracking down Contreras, and "cell phone technology" turned out to be as real as unicorns. On the plus side, it was one of the first times that dirty laundry actually left the Sheriff's Office, even though an escaping inmate went along with it.