A gangster who made a Hollywood-esque helicopter jailbreak has been arrested in northern France after three months on the run, sources close to the inquiry said early yesterday.
Notorious French robber Redoine Faid was apprehended during the night in the Oise region north of Paris along with three other men including his brother, one source said, confirming earlier media reports.
A massive manhunt was launched after Faid's daring July 1 escape, in which two heavily armed accomplices used smoke bombs and angle grinders to break through doors and whisk him to a waiting helicopter.
Faid, a career criminal with multiple convictions for armed robbery, was sprung from the prison in Reau, 50 kilometres (30 miles) southeast of Paris.
Two men posing as flight school students, who had already taken an introductory flight, forced a helicopter instructor at gunpoint to fly them to the jail.
The terrified pilot landed in the courtyard -- the only part of the prison not fitted with anti-helicopter nets -- prompting a heated debate in France about whether the country's prisons are secure enough.