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Images of suspect in abduction and rape of women in Chingford released

A CCTV image of a suspect have been released as part of an investigation into the abduction and rape of two women in Chingford and Edgware.

It follows the arrest of a 33-year-old man on Sunday on suspicion of conspiracy to rape.  He is currently in custody in a west London police station while the hunt for the rapist continues.

The images of a man with a distinctive tattoo were captured as the suspect attempted to book a hotel in the Watford area around 1pm on 25 April.

The first woman had been abducted from a street in Chingford at approximately 00.30hrs on 25 April while the second woman was taken from a street in Edgware 12 hours later, at around 12.15.

The suspect drove the women to the hotel and attempted to book a room around 1pm, but left when one was unavailable.

Around 2.30pm a struggle between the women and the suspect took place in Osborne Road in Watford and the women managed to escape.

The suspect is described as a white man of muscular build in his late 20s or early 30s with a bald head or shaved blond hair and a light-coloured short beard. He is described as having a distinctive tattoo of the name ‘bobbie’ on his stomach.

He was believed to have been driving a silver or grey-coloured Ford S-Max people carrier, with false registration plates.

Detective Chief Inspector Katherine Goodwin, who leads the investigation, said:“Our investigation into these appalling crimes is making good process and my team continue to work extremely hard but we urgently need the help of the public to identify and trace this man.

“I would ask everyone to take a good look at his image – does this man look familiar? Do you know anyone with the name ‘bobbie’ tattooed on his stomach? Did you see a man matching this description in and around the Chingford or Edgware areas on Thursday, 25 April? We believe he travelled around north London and Hertfordshire in his car from the early hours of Thursday and he may have come into contact with other members of the public.

“Equally he may have abandoned his car somewhere – if an unfamiliar car of this description is now parked on your street, call police straight away.

“We would ask anyone with any information to contact us immediately – if you see the suspect do not approach him but call 999 immediately. If you wish to remain anonymous, call Crimestoppers. It is vitally important we catch this man, and while stranger attacks of this nature are thankfully rare, we would urge people to remain vigilant.”

The women, both in their 20s, have been left traumatised and are receiving support from specialist officers. The investigation is being treated as two random but linked attacks and is being led by officers from the Homicide and Major Crime Command, supported by other specialist and local officers as well as Hertfordshire Police.

Anyone who can help is asked to call the incident room on 0208 785 8244 or 999 quoting CAD 3041/25Apr, or tweet @MetCC and or Crimestoppers anonymously via 0800 555 111.

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