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Two women abducted and raped by man in car in north London

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Police are searching for a man who abducted and raped two women in a car over a 12-hour period in north London.

One victim was snatched in the street in Chingford, in the north-east of the capital in the early hours of Thursday, and the second was grabbed at about midday in Edgware, about 12 miles to the west, Scotland Yard said.

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According to police, both women managed to escape after a struggle on Osborne Road in Watford, about six miles away from the second abduction, at about 2.30pm on Thursday.

The suspect was described as a white man of muscular build. Detectives from the Metropolitan police’s homicide and major crime command are investigating, supported by other specialist and local officers. They have appealed for witnesses.

The women, both aged in their 20s, are receiving support from specialist officers.

“This was a terrifying ordeal for both women who were abducted by the suspect in separate areas. At this stage there is nothing to suggest either victims were specifically targeted for any reason, but both appear to have been selected at random,” said DCI Katherine Goodwin, who is leading the investigation.

“A number of active leads are being followed up urgently including reviewing CCTV footage and forensic analysis. We are also working closely with our colleagues in Hertfordshire to establish what links the suspect may have in [the Watford area].

“Stranger attacks like this are extremely rare. That being said, I would urge everyone in these areas to remain vigilant and report anything suspicious to police immediately via 999.”

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