French police capture Hollywood-style jailbreaker | News | DW | 03.10.2018
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French police capture Hollywood-style jailbreaker

Jewel thief Redoine Faid has been found in his hometown after a nationwide manhunt. Earlier this year two armed accomplices busted him out of jail into a waiting helicopter.

Notorious French robber and serial jailbreaker Redoine Faid has been caught once again, French authorities said early Wednesday. Faid had been on the run since his latest escape on July 1, when he was assisted by accomplices who used explosives to break down doors and whisk him away in a hijacked helicopter.

Police said that Faid was captured in his hometown of Creil in the Oise region in northern France during a nighttime raid along with three other men, including his brother. More than 100 specialist police had been involved in the nationwide manhunt.

In a scene many have compared to a Hollywood film, his July getaway was made possible by two heavily armed accomplices. Posing as flight school students, the pair forced the pilot to fly to the prison in Reau, 50 kilometers (30 miles) southeast of Paris.

The helicopter was able to land in the jail's courtyard, the only part of the complex not fitted with anti-helicopter nets — prompting a nationwide debate about the security of French prisons.

Police briefly caught up with Faid in late July, but he narrowly avoided capture once again, abandoning a car filled with explosives.

Career jewel thief

The 46-year-old career jewel thief had been serving multiple sentences for armed robbery, including a botched 2010 heist in which a French policewoman was killed — an accident, Faid maintains.

Throughout the 90s, Faid ran a gang of thieves in Paris. In 1997, facing charges of robbery and extortion, he spent three years on the run in Switzerland and Israel. In his 2009 autobiography, he claims that he managed to evade capture by posing as an Orthodox Jew.

In 2013, he spent six weeks on the run after escaping from Sequedin prison in northern France. Interpol found evidence he had been trying to procure forged documents in order to once again flee to Israel.

es/aw (AFP, Reuters)

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