Expatica news

British police arrest man over 100 sex attacks on elderly

London – British police on Sunday arrested a 52-year-old man in connection with more than 100 sex attacks on elderly women and men dating back to the 1990s, a spokesman said.

A police task force has long been hunting one of Britain’s most wanted serial rapists, dubbed the "night stalker," over the attacks and burglaries on the elderly in their homes across southeast London.

Police did not reveal details of the man seized, nor whether he would be charged over the attacks, but detectives investigating the case reportedly described the arrest as "significant."

"We can confirm a 52-year-old man was arrested in the early hours of this morning in a pre-planned operation," a Scotland Yard spokesman said.

"He is currently in custody at a London police station."

During their investigation dating back to the 1990s, police have said they were hunting a criminal with a distinctive pattern of behaviour.

The unknown attacker often disabled telephone lines and fuse boxes before breaking into the homes of vulnerable people. Light bulbs have also been removed and curtains drawn.

Often wearing a mask, the attacker woke people by shining a torch in their faces. Police have said he sometimes spent up to four hours with his victims, some of whom, aged between 68 and 93, have been raped and sexually assaulted.

Police launched Operation Minstead in the late 1990s to track down the attacker thought behind over 108 offences.

A GBP 40,000 (EUR 44,000, USD 66,000) reward was also offered for information about his identity.

Earlier this month, police revealed more than 2,054 DNA samples had been obtained from suspects as part of their inquiry at a cost of GBP 102,700.

The attacks and burglaries have taken place in clusters in south and southeast London, including Dulwich, Orpington, Norwood, Downham, Lee, West Wickham and Bickley.