AN ‘EXTREMELY dangerous’ fugitive wanted for the three rapes in Watford is being hunted in Cheshire tonight after two women were forced into a car.
Joseph McCann, 33, allegedly abducted two women in Congleton before crashing the black Fiat Punto in a police chase and fleeing on foot.
Cheshire Police superintendent Sarah Pengelly said: “McCann is a dangerous individual and I would advise anyone who sees him not approach him but instead call us immediately on 999.
“Enquiries to locate him are ongoing and there is a large police presence in the Congleton area. This includes road checks in and out of the town.
“The two women abducted in Congleton were not injured. However, they have been left extremely shaken as a result of their ordeal and are currently being supported by specially train officers.”
McCann has links to Watford in Hertfordshire, Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire and Ipswich in Suffolk.
He 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.
Last week we told how the rape attacker told staff at a Bed & Breakfast he was going to bring “two girls” to stay with him last Thursday afternoon.
The man wanted to book Room 15 in the Phoenix Lodge guest house in Watford, Herts.
He told the manager he wanted a double room for two nights on Thursday and signed the register book.
Saad Sayah, 42, who occasionally works at the B&B, said the suspect was “behaving normally”.
He told The Sun Online: “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 man was a normal guy and was behaving in a normal way. He spoke in a local London accent.”
Police confirmed today that the two women were in the car while the suspect went into the hotel.
The bed and breakfast is just 200 yards from where the girls escaped on nearby Osborne Road.
It offers rooms from as little as £35-per-night for a single room, £45-per-night for a double room or £60-a-night for a family room.
One of the women who managed to flee from the kidnapper was said to be pregnant, according to a witness.
She had managed to escape from the car she was being held in and run to safety in a shop, after smashing a bottle of vodka over her captor’s head.
Gordon Williams, construction design and management officer at Top Build, told The Times the distressed woman was bleeding heavily from her hand when she rushed into the Watford shop.
He said: “She said ‘I’ve been kidnapped. I’ve escaped – there’s another girl still in there’.
“The first girl was in a very distressed state, she was extremely worried about the second girl.”
The first woman was taken from the street in Chingford at 12.30am on Thursday 25 May.
The second victim had been snatched from the street in Edgware, north London, at 12.15pm later that day.
She had managed to run from the car after the first victim at about 2.30pm – who was kidnapped hours earlier at around 12.30am.
Mr Williams added: “The guy was trying to get them into a house, which was when the girl took the opportunity to smash him over the head with a vodka bottle.
“The first girl was pregnant, I believe she was pregnant.”
The women, both in their 20s, were targeted at random and abducted 12 hours apart in different areas of North London.
They were snatched from Chingford and Edgware on April 25, and taken to hotel in Watford.
As the women made their escape two heroic builders chased off the rapist after they heard them screaming.
The Romanian workers, who gave their names only as Ion, 21, and Marcel, 40, had been working in the area when they heard the cries for help.
Ion said: “One woman was on her feet, but he was pulling her by the hair. I ran and said, ‘Leave her alone’.”
He added the attacker threatened him, saying: “My friend, you’re dead.”
Marcel added: “The girls got out of the car. They were in the back. The girls looked very, very scared.
“One girl hit him with a bottle on the head. The guy got scared a bit by the girls and our reaction.”
Boss Alex Kovak, 38, praised his men for their heroic actions and said: “We would help anybody in need.”
Police have also released an image of the suspect’s car – a silver or grey Ford S-Max people carrier with false plates – which they are still hunting.
The women 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, supported by other specialist and local officers as well as Hertfordshire Constabulary.
A 33-year-old man arrested on Sunday, April 28, on suspicion of conspiracy to rape has been released under investigation.
Anyone who can help should call the incident room on 020 8785 8244 or 999 quoting CAD 3041/25Apr.