Notorious French robber Redoine Faid, who made a Hollywood-esque helicopter jailbreak has been arrested in northern France after three months on the run, sources close to the inquiry said early Wednesday (Oct 3).
The career criminal with multiple convictions for armed robbery was apprehended during the night in the Oise region north of Paris along with three other men including his brother, AFP writes.
A massive manhunt was launched after Faid’s daring Jul 1 escape, in which two heavily armed accomplices used smoke bombs and angle grinders to break through doors and whisk him to a waiting helicopter.
Faid, who said he got inspiration from Hollywood capers such as Al Pacino’s The Heat and Scarface, was then sprung from the prison in Reau, 50km southeast of Paris.
Two men posing as flight school students, who had already taken an introductory flight, forced a helicopter instructor at gunpoint to fly them to the jail.
The terrified pilot landed in the courtyard – the only part of the prison not fitted with anti-helicopter nets.
He had been serving a 25-year term over a botched 2010 heist in which a policewoman was killed, though he claims her death was accidental.
Around 100 specialist police were deployed to track down the 46-year-old, who narrowly avoided capture just weeks after his flight and had to abandon a car carrying explosives.
Faid had escaped from prison once before, for six weeks in 2013.