Joseph McCann, 34, is being investigated over attacks on 12 women and children in London, Watford, Manchester, Lancashire and Cheshire., and has been described as "extremely dangerous".
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.
DCI 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.
“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.
During the attack in Watford, the victim was approached by a man holding a knife in Hagden Lane in Watford.
She was forced into a blue Ford Mondeo and driven around the town for six hours before being raped.
(On Wednesday 1st May) Armed police search a house that MET believed he was hiding at.
Investigators are aware of a third rape attack which occurred in Watford in the early hours of Sunday, 21 April. Whilst that investigation is being looked at by Hertfordshire police, we remain in close contact with our policing counterparts there to help trace and detain McCann.
The Met said 33-year-old McCann, who has connections in Watford, Aylesbury and Ipswich, is known to use false names.
The next victim was abducted the following Friday in Chingford, north London, at about 00:30, with the third targeted at 12:15 in Edgware.
The women were driven to the hotel in Watford and an attempt was made to book a room around 13:00hrs. But the suspect left the premises as there were no rooms available.
Around 14:30hrs, a struggle between the women and the suspect took place on Osborne Road in Watford and the women managed to escape.
Detectives want to arrest the suspect before he strikes again and fear he may use violence if he believes he is going to be detained.
Police said McCann may attempt to disguise his appearance, adding that he also uses false names, most recently calling himself “Joel”.
Police said: “McCann is described as being of muscular build and 5ft 10ins tall. He has blue eyes, a bald head or shaved blond hair with a light-coloured short beard.”
DCI 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.”
This mondeo that crashed they day before, has been confirmed not to be linked to the case.