Redoine Faid, one of France's most infamous criminals, is on the run again after making a daring escape from jail.
The serial armed robber used explosives to blast his way through five security doors at the Sequedin prison in northern France on Saturday, taking four guards hostage as he made his way to a waiting getaway car. All four were released unharmed.
He then dumped the car outside the nearby city of Lille and fled in a second vehicle.
Police continue to search for him on the ground and in helicopters. Prosecutors say he is armed and "particularly dangerous."
Faid, 40, had been in the Sequedin jail for almost two years before his escape. He was sent there in 2011 for parole violations, two years after he was released from another prison where he served 10 years for robbery.
It's still not clear how he pulled off what was obviously a carefully planned jailbreak. Prison authorities say his wife visited him on the morning of his escape and may have smuggled in the explosives, though her lawyer "vigorously" denied to AFP that she had any involvement.
Faid detailed his exploits – which include holding up several armored vehicles loaded with cash and hiding out in Israel disguised as an Orthodox Jew – in a 2010 book, written after he claimed to have given up his life of crime.
The very same year, however, he was accused of masterminding an armed robbery in which a policewoman was shot and killed.
Faid's lawyer, Jean-Louis Pelletier, told AFP that his client was "remarkably intelligent" and "knew how to handle people."