Murder Suspect Escapes from Prison in a Cardboard Box

By Sadie Bass

Sep 10, 2009 12:24pm

ABC's Christophe Schpoliansky reports from Paris: Scores of police are scouring the French countryside in search of a murder suspect who escaped from prison hidden…in a cardboard box. 45-year-old Jean-Pierre Treiber, was working in the prison workshop on Tuesday morning when he hid in a cardboard box he had made himself. The box was then loaded into a truck that left the Auxerre prison for a nearby warehouse. During the journey from prison to warehouse Treiber cut himself out of the box and through the truck’s tarpaulin cover and then fled to freedom. Prison authorities did not notice Treiber’s disappearance until the evening; giving the escapee hours to flee the region. A guard at lunchtime did query his whereabouts but when he was told by Treiber’s cellmate that he was being questioned by a judge did not take the matter any further. Investigators believe Treiber was helped by several accomplices and six detainees who worked with him in the workshop are being questioned. The full scale manhunt of about a hundred French policemen, a helicopter, a K-9 unit and 4 cops on trail bikes are still searching a vast and dense forest in the Burgundy region where they believe Treiber is hiding. But the fugitive has an advantage over his pursuers: an eager hunter and former park ranger, Treiber is considered a woodsman and can survive “in the wild”.   Jean Pierre Trebier is one of France’s most famous prisoners. He is due to go on trial in the Spring of 2010 for a double-murder 5 years ago. This case made headlines in France because one of the victims is the daughter of the famous French actor Roland Giraud. Despite serious evidence against him – he was caught using the victims’ bank cards — Treiber has always proclaimed his innocence. Yesterday, the French justice minister paid a visit to the Auxerre prison in northern France and called for an audit of all French prisons. The security of France’s penal system has come under criticism in the past.  There have been several dramatic prison breaks already this year. On February 15, two dangerous detainees blasted their way out of a prison in central France using explosives and taking two guards hostage. They were later apprehended two days later in a Paris suburb following a dramatic car chase and gun fire exchange between the fugitives and the police. On April 27, a cult leader and two of his followers escaped using a hijacked helicopter from the prison of Saint-Denis de la Reunion on the French island of La Reunion in the Indian Ocean. The three men were later caught and re-imprisoned in May. To further add to the embarrassment of France’s prison authorities on the same day as Treiber’s escape, a detainee at a nearby prison also managed to smuggle himself out in the back of a truck. Mohamed Amarani, who was serving an 18 year prison term for robbery and attempted murder, was also working in the prison workshop that day and he too is still is at large today. 

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