Published: Tue, July 03, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

French convict escapes from prison using a helicopter

French convict escapes from prison using a helicopter

This picture taken on July 1, 2018 in Aulnay-sous-Bois, north of Paris shows a vehicle abandoned by French criminal Redoine Faid at O'Parinor shopping mall after his escape on a helicopter from a prison in Reau.

Redoine Faid was serving 25 years for involvement in a failed robbery and murder of a police officer in a prison near Paris.

This two photos combo provided on Monday, July 2, 2010 by the AP on the condition that its source not be revealed shows portraits of notorious French criminal Redoine Faid who is wanted in connection with his escape from the Reau prison in France.

Faid's first escape from jail back in 2013 had been less dramatic, featuring the use of dynamites instead. He was recaptured six weeks later in a hotel room.

According to Agence France-Presse, Faid has been sentenced to serve 25 years "for masterminding a May 2010 botched armed robbery, in which a policewoman was killed".

Faid and his accomplices escaped from the prison courtyard - which was unprotected by a net - without injuring anyone, French news website Europe 1 reports.

For his latest escape, the helicopter, hijacked from a flight instructor, landed in the prison yard at around 11:15 am.

A helicopter believed to have been used by French convict Redoine Faid was recovered outside Paris.

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Faid is a well-known criminal in France, particularly after his high-stakes escape from prison in 2013.

Rédoine Faïd abandoned the helicopter on the outskirts of Paris after using it to escape Réau prison in the south-eastern suburbs.

French media reported that the three men took the pilot hostage at a flying club in the Paris region.

The men then continued their getaway by auto, changing vehicles along the way from a hatchback found burnt out in a shopping mall parking lot to a white van.

Dressed all in black, two commandos wearing balaclavas and police armbands entered the prison to look for Faid. "Take away the [lessons taught by] cinema and you would have 50 percent less crime", he once told Michael Mann, the director of Heat (1995), his favourite film.

Following a decade in prison, he was released under conditions in 2009 after convincing parole officers that he had changed.

Faid, 46, is an avid fan of caper films, the author of a confessional book about his life of crime and a serial robber of banks and armoured trucks.

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