A man wanted over the abduction of two teenage girls in Congleton is now being linked to attacks on twelve victims across the country - including five rapes.
Officers from the Metropolitan Police launched an urgent investigation and a series of detailed public appeals to trace 34-year-old Joseph McCann who they had identified as someone they needed to speak with following the rape and abduction of two women in London.
On Sunday, 5 May, detectives were informed that McCann had been located in the Congleton area of Cheshire. He was arrested in the early hours of Monday, 6 May and taken into police custody.
Detective Chief Inspector Katherine Goodwin from the Met’s Homicide and Major Crime Command said: “Between Sunday, 21 April and Saturday, 5 May McCann is suspected to have been involved in a number of attacks across different parts of the country.
“I can confirm he is now being investigated for offences committed in Cheshire, Manchester and Lancashire in addition to London and Hertfordshire.
“Detectives from the Met continue to lead on this investigation and are working very closely with policing counterparts where he is suspected to have carried out further offences. These offences will be jointly investigated.
“At this early stage, there are believed to be nine further victims following the attacks in Hertfordshire and London. These attacks were grotesque and horrifying. These victims are now being supported by specialist officers. Further details concerning specific offences will become clearer in due course.
“I would urge any other victims to come forward. We also need to hear from anyone who has been approached or been in contact with McCann between February and May.
“Anyone who can help is asked to call the incident room on 020 8785 8244. Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously via 0800 555 111.”
Since the investigation commenced, details of McCann, including his image, offending history and the risk he posed to members of the public were circulated nationally to all police forces as detectives worked around the clock to bring him in for questioning. He was shown as wanted on the Police National Computer immediately with the Met’s Homicide and Major Crime Command leading the investigation from the outset.
Searches of associated addresses were also completed throughout the country in close partnership with other police forces. McCann’s image and a £20,000 police reward for information leading to his arrest and conviction were quickly issued in a media appeal. The vehicle involved in the initial offences was also circulated via the ANPR system as part of an in depth and fast-moving investigation.
1. The first incident occurred in Watford, at 0330hrs on Sunday, 21 April. A woman, aged in her twenties, was abducted and raped in a car.
2. The second incident took place in Chingford, London on Thursday, 25 April at about 00:30hrs when a woman, aged in her twenties, was abducted and raped in a car.
3. At 12:15hrs on 25 April in Edgware, London when a woman, aged in her twenties, was abducted and raped in a car.
4. On Sunday, 5 May at around 0800hrs. A woman aged in her thirties was falsely imprisoned at a location in Haslingden, Lancashire. In the same incident a teenage girl and boy, aged 11, were raped.
5. On Sunday 5 May at around 1330hrs, a woman aged 71 was abducted and raped in Bury, Manchester.
6. On Sunday 5 May at around 15.30hrs in Heywood. Manchester, two 13-year-old boys and 13-year-old girl were abducted. The 13-year-old girl was sexually assaulted.
7. On approximately 6.30pm on Sunday 5, May , two 14-year-old girls were forced into a car in Congleton, Cheshire. They were not sexually assaulted.