Detectives have today named a ‘extremely dangerous’ man wanted over the abduction and rape of two women.
Officers have issued an appeal to trace 33-year-old Joseph McCann after the victims were attacked when they were snatched off the street in Chingford and Edgware, both in north London.
McCann, who is known to use false names – most recently Joel – has links to Watford, Hertfordshire, Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire and Ipswich in Suffolk, police said.
It has emerged that one of the women, who were both in their 20s, managed to escape following her abduction on April 25 after smashing a vodka bottle over the kidnapper’s head.
Officers have issued an appeal to trace 33-year-old Joseph McCann (pictured) wanted in connection with the abduction and rape of two women
McCann is of muscular build and 5ft 10ins tall. He has blue eyes, a bald head or shaved blond hair with a light-coloured short beard.
Police say he has a slight Irish accent. He is a distinctive tattoo of the name ‘bobbie’ on his stomach.
Officers believe McCann may attempt to disguise his appearance.
Police have already released a CCTV image of the suspect, which was captured by cameras at a hotel in Osbourne Road, Watford at 1pm on Thursday.
A map showing where the women were abducted and the location of the guesthouse in Watford
The first woman had been abducted from a street in Chingford at 12.30am on Thursday, 25 April.
The second woman taken from a street in Edgware 12 hours later, at 12:15pm.
The women were driven to the hotel in Watford and an attempt was made to book a room around 1pm.
At around 2.30pm, a struggle between the women and the suspect took place on Osborne Road in Watford.
Yesterday it emerged that the attacker asked to book Room 15 at the Phoenix Lodge guest house.
Police said the two women had been in the car while the suspected attacker went into the bed and breakfast in Watford (pictured)
He told the manager he wanted a double room for two nights on Thursday before signing the register book.
Saad Sayah, 42, who works at the bed and breakfast, described the suspect as a ‘normal guy’ who spoke with a London accent.
He told The Sun: ‘He came in to rent a room and was asking how much it would be to book one for two nights.
‘He said ”I’ve got two girls with me” and said he would be bringing them with him.’
The attacker asked to book Room 15 at the Phoenix Lodge guest house in Watford, Hertfordshire, telling the manager he wanted a double room for two nights on Thursday before signing the register book
Police said the two women had been in the car while the suspected attacker went into the bed and breakfast.
Roughly an hour-and-a-half later, one of the women, who was said by a witness to be pregnant, escaped from the car on Osbourne Road and managed to seek help at a nearby shop after she smashed a bottle of vodka over the kidnapper’s head.
She was said to have been bleeding profusely from her hand when she rushed into the Watford shop, revealing she had been kidnapped and managed to escape – and that another woman was still in the car.
As the women escaped, two builders were reported to have heroically chased off the rapist after they heard the women screaming.
The car he was driving is said to have been a silver or grey Ford S-Max people carrier with false registration plates (pictured)
Romanian workers Ion, 21, and Marcel, 40, said they had been working when they heard the cries for help.
Ion said one of the women was on her feet, being pulled by the hair, before he intervened.
The women managed to escape.
Officers are still to trace a silver or grey-coloured Ford S-Max people carrier in connection with the offences.
This had false registration plates.
Detective Chief Inspector Katherine Goodwin, from the Met’s Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: ‘We would ask anyone with any information about McCann’s whereabouts to contact us immediately.
McCann is considered extremely dangerous and a risk to the public and we ask people not to approach him, but instead call 999.
‘If you wish to remain anonymous, call Crimestoppers. It is vitally important we trace him in connection with these offences.
‘My team continues to work around the clock and we are making progress in furthering the investigation.’
The women, both in their 20s, have been left ‘traumatised’ and are receiving support from specialist officers.
The investigation, into what officers are treating as two random but linked attacks, is being led by officers from the Homicide and Major Crime Command.
It is being supported by other specialist and local officers as well as Hertfordshire Constabulary.
A 33-year-old man arrested on Sunday, 28 April on suspicion of conspiracy to rape has been released under investigation.
Anyone who can help is asked to call the incident room on 020 8785 8244 or 999 quoting CAD 3041/25Apr.