- Rédoine Faïd was sprung out of a French jail in July by three masked gunmen, and escaped in a stolen helicopter.
- After three months on the run, Faïd was caught by French police on Wednesday in Creil, north of Paris.
- Officials say Faïd, who said he was inspired by gangster films to become a criminal, will now be watched even more closely to stop him escaping again.
A French fugitive who busted out of jail in July using a hijacked helicopter was tracked down and recaptured on Wednesday, police have said.
Rédoine Faïd became a global fixation when he broke out of a prison in Reau, south of Paris, in the stolen helicopter on on July 1.
Three masked gunmen helped Faïd escape, forcing a kidnapped pilot to fly them to safety.
Police said on Wednesday that Faïd had been recaptured and arrested in Creil, north of Paris, along with two other men, including Faïd’s brother, and a woman, the BBC reported.
French Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet told Europe 1 radio: “We’re going to put him in a high-security facility where he will be watched extremely closely.”
Faïd was serving 25 years in prison for involvement in a failed robbery, and the murder of a police officer.
He had previously escaped from another prison in 2013 – reports at the time said he used explosives hidden in packs of tissues.
The BBC reported that the 46-year-old said he is a fan of gangster films – which he credits with teaching him how to pull off raids.
A helicopter escape straight from the movies
Prison workers told the Associated Press that the helicopter had touched down on July 1 in the only part of the complex that was not covered by anti-helicopter netting.
Then, dressed all in black, two men wearing balaclavas and police armbands got off the chopper and entered the prison to look for Faïd. They used a grinding machine to open the door to the visiting room, reports say.
The men set off smoke canisters to hide from video cameras.
As the chopper arrived, Faïd was meeting with his brother in the visiting room. A third man was holding the pilot at gunpoint.
French media reported that the three men previously took the pilot hostage at a flying club in the Paris region. He was later released with no physical injuries.
The helicopter was found burned in the town of Garges-les-Gonesse, a northern suburbs of Paris. By this time Faïd had escaped.
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