A French robber, who escaped from jail after hopping into a helicopter, has been found three months after a vast manhunt was launched.
Forty six-year-old Rédoine Faïd was found in early hours of Wednesday in Osie area, north of Paris, The Guardian says. The gangster was in the company of his brother and two other men.
Faïd is a serial robber of banks and armoured vehicles and a fan of Hollywood mafia heroes, The Guardian reports.
The gangster escaped from a prison near Paris on July 1. Two heavily armed accomplices set off smoke bombs then used angle grinders to break through doors and whisk Faïd to a waiting helicopter.
Two accomplices had pretended to be flight-school students and forced a helicopter instructor at gunpoint to fly them to the prison, The Guardian said.
The frightened pilot landed in the courtyard – the only part of the prison not fitted with anti-helicopter nets.
Faïd was in the visiting room at the time, talking to a family member. The gang burst through doors and he was able to escape in just “a few minutes”, the French Justice Ministry said.
The robber had been serving 25 years for the murder of a police officer during a botched raid and was being held in a prison south of Paris.
It was the second time he had escaped prison in only five years after he broke out of another jail by blowing the doors off using explosives hidden in tissue packs and a weapon hidden in the laundry. In that raid, he took several prison staff hostage.
After a three-month hunt, Faïd was arrested at 4am on Wednesday in Creil, a town in the Oise, where his family lives.
He is believed to have relocated to Creil during his three months on the run.
In July, investigators found guns, masks and a cement cutter in the Oise region, which they believed belonged to his gang.