Gangster in helicopter prison break

15 2013 in Paris shows a reproduction of the Interpol website shows the international wanted person notice for French robber Redoine Faid

The helicopter was later found abandoned in the town of Garges-les-Gonesse, in the northern suburbs of Paris. Once in the prison they found their man whilst one gunman stayed with the helicopter in the yard, before making off in the same fashion.

It is believed that the heavily armed men, who had guns, were dressed in black and wore hoods, demanded the prisoner's release.

Faid was sentenced to 25 years in the 2010 death of a young policewoman killed during a botched robbery.

Faid, who has a cult following in the tough immigrant suburbs outside Paris where he grew up, has made several television appearances.

PARIS - A notorious French criminal serving 25 years for murder used a helicopter Sunday to escape from a prison south of Paris, igniting a huge manhunt around the French capital.

Delabroye, the prison union rep, said the yard where the helicopter landed is the only area not equipped with anti-aircraft netting because inmates never use it - "except to leave the prison". The pilot of the helicopter had been taken hostage from a nearby flying club.

As soon as the gangster flew out of jail, a massive search was launched by the French National Police across greater Paris. After landing the helicopter, two men broke in the visitors' room using smoke bombs and angle-grinders.

She was shot as the gang fled and used Kalashnikov assault rifles to fire at police cars pursuing them along the busy A4 motorway. Investigators were questioning Faid's brother on Sunday afternoon.

He spent years as an worldwide fugitive before his capture, and then a decade in prison, and then wrote an autobiography after his release on parole in 2009. He was arrested in 1998 after three years on the run in Switzerland and Israel, according to the French media. He was arrested at a hotel six weeks later. He has previously said his lifestyle was inspired by Hollywood gangster films, including the Al Pacino thriller Scarface.

In 2009 Faïd wrote a book about his past and rise as a criminal in Paris' suburbs. In 2001, he was sentenced to 30 years in prison for armed robbery.

Still, he was the suspected mastermind of the attempted armed robbery in 2010 that led to a high-speed chase and a shootout with police that killed 26-year-old Aurelie Fouquet.

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