French murderer escapes from prison by helicopter

Most Wanted French Thief's Epic Jailbreak Dramatic Helicopter Escape

The pilot of the helicopter had been taken hostage from a nearby flying club.

It is his second escape - last time he blasted his way out of jail with hidden explosives.

In a dramatic style, Faid's associates hijacked a helicopter and made the pilot land it in a prison courtyard that was not protected by anti-aircraft setting. Moments later, the convict disappeared into the sky and out of captivity - all in broad daylight.

FILE PHOTO: Prison guards enter the Reau penitentiary, near Paris, September 24, 2013.

Heavily armed men helped Redoine Faid escape the jail in Reau in the daring jailbreak on Sunday.

Three masked gunmen armed with assault rifles landed a stolen helicopter at the prison and plucked Faid out at around 11:20 a.m. on Sunday.

Belloubet said police had launched a manhunt and described Faid as unsafe.

The helicopter was later found in a northeastern suburb of Paris about 60 kilometers (37 miles) from the prison, one source said. Police later found a burnt out black Renault, suspected of being the getaway vehicle, in Aulnay-sous-Bois, another suburb of the French capital. She is set to appear on a French news program at 7:20 a.m. Monday, local time, to discuss the prison break.

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.

In 1998, he attacked a cash-in-transit van in the northeaster Paris suburb of Villepinte and was sentenced to 18 years of behind bars.

A wanted notice for Faid said he drove off in a utility truck. Three years ago, when he envisaged giving up crime for a career in the movies, he boasted: "I see everything in CinemaScope".

He also said in an interview with Canal Plus TV that he had "turned a page".

In the 1990s, he was co-leader of a gang engaged in jewel theft, armed robbery and extortion in the Paris area. Nobody was wounded or taken hostage, according to the authorities.

Faid was freed in 2009 after serving 10 years.

He was serving 25 years for an attempted armed robbery in 2010 that led to a high-speed chase and a shootout with police that killed 26-year-old officer Aurelie Fouquet. He received an eight-year prison sentence in 2011 - interrupted by the 2013 breakout.

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