Published: Mon, July 02, 2018
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

French robber Redoine Faïd 'breaks free from jail' in dramatic helicopter escape

French robber Redoine Faïd 'breaks free from jail' in dramatic helicopter escape

France's Justice Ministry said Redoine Faid's escape only took "a few minutes" and no one was injured or taken hostage at Reau Prison. Faid and his accomplices escaped from the prison courtyard - which was not protected by a net - without injuring anyone Gunmen took the prisoner from the visitors' room before fleeing by air, according to security sources cited by Reuters.

The helicopter was later found in a northeastern suburb of Paris about 60 kilometres from the prison, one source said, adding that a police search has been launched across the entire Paris region.

It is his second prison break after he escaped from a prison in northern France in 2013, using explosives to blast his way through five prison doors and taking four prison guards hostage.

In 2013, he took four prison guards hostage before using dynamite to blow his way out of jail and fleeing in a waiting getaway auto. He was arrested at a hotel six weeks later.

In 2001, three armed robbers fled a prison in Draguignan, southern France, after an accomplice hijacked a helicopter from an airfield in nearby St Tropez. It was then found burnt out by local police.

Prior to the 2010 failed robbery that killed a young policewoman named Aurélie Fouquet, Faïd had served 10 years behind bars for a series of robberies.

Faid has a violent criminal record dating to at least the 1990s, when he organized the robberies of banks, shops and armored vehicles.

That same year, he wrote a book about growing up in Paris' suburbs and leading a life of crime, which he claimed at the time to have put behind him.

At a Paris film festival in April 2009, Faid approached Michael Mann, director of the 1995 gangster film "Heat" starring Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro, telling him: "You were my technical adviser".

The 2010 robbery that he was imprisoned for involved the shooting of a female police officer.

He wrote that he had watched the film dozens of times to flawless his bank-robbing prowess.

The prison courtyard it landed in was the only one not fitted with anti-helicopter nets as it is used by inmates exclusively when they are being admitted to or released from the jail. "Behind all his manners - he is very polite - he always hid his game", the supervisor said.

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