Redoine Faid, French Gangster Who Escaped From Prison, Caught After Six-Week Manhunt

 Sequedin Prison In Lille, France
Redoine Faid escaped from Sequedin prison in Lille, France, on April 13. Reuters

Redoine Faid, 40, broke out of prison last month after holding five individuals at gunpoint before blasting his way out of the prison in Lille, France, using improvised explosives, CNN reports. After six weeks on the run, Faid was captured at a hotel in the Seine-et-Marne region of northern France.

Faid broke out of the Lille detention center on April 13, and an international manhunt began for France’s most wanted criminal. France’s interior ministry announced in a press release Faid was staying with an accomplice at the hotel and the escaped convict was arrested at 3 a.m. local time. Faid and the accomplice were arrested at the hotel, and police recovered several weapons that they believed were going to be used as part of an upcoming robbery, Agence France-Presse reports. It is believed that Faid was helped by several accomplices during his six weeks on the run.  

The French thief held four prison guards hostage before blowing open five doors of the Sequedin prison. Police believe Faid was aided by his wife, who may have given the bombs to him during a meeting earlier that morning, the Telegraph notes, although the attorney for Faid’s wife has denied any involvement. Faid fled in a car that was found burned south of Lille, in the village of Ronchin, and police say he changed several locations prior to staying at the hotel for several days.  

Faid became infamous as a daring gangster who targeted armored cars while emulating iconic Hollywood movie moments, CNN notes. During one such robbery, Faid was inspired by Robert De Niro’s character from “Heat,” and the armed robber later wrote a 2010 autobiography, “Robber: From Suburbs to Organized Crime,” detailing his rise from simple theft to armed robbery.

Police arrested Faid in 1998 and sentenced him to 20 years in jail for his crimes, eventually serving 10 years in several maximum-security prisons in France, CNN notes. After his release, Faid became a bit of a celebrity, being the subject of several interviews prior to the autobiography’s publication. According to CNN, Faid claimed to be repentant, swearing off a life of crime, but was soon arrested in 2011 for violating his parole. It was believed that Faid was the man behind an attempted robbery in 2010 that led to death of police officer Aurelie Fouque, the Telegraph reports. Faid was arrested in 2011 and was sentenced to eight years in jail.

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