Police praise public help in rapist hunt

DETECTIVES hunting a rapist who abducted his victim have praised the response of the public after speaking to more than 500 people in their bid to bring the offender to justice.

Laurence Cawley

DETECTIVES hunting a rapist who abducted his victim have praised the response of the public after speaking to more than 500 people in their bid to bring the offender to justice.

Police carried out checks a week after a 21-year-old woman was abducted at knifepoint from the Tesco supermarket car park in Brandon.

Beat officers joined detectives from the force's major investigation team to speak with shoppers at the store on Saturday. More than 500 people were spoken to and those with information were asked to fill out questionnaires.


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The woman was abducted from the London Road store at 2.15pm on June 14 after her attacker asked for help with heavy bags.

She was threatened with a knife, forced inside his vehicle and ordered to lie down while he drove for 20 minutes to a remote location. He then raped her. She was driven back to Wimbledon Avenue in Brandon later that afternoon.

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Police revealed they are still scouring CCTV footage from the area and contact has been made with neighbouring forces. House-to-house enquiries are also being carried out.

Detective Chief Inspector David Cutler said the force had received excellent support from the public, including more than 100 calls and emails offering potentially useful information in its bid to catch the woman's abductor.

“I am very pleased with how the anniversary checks went and those people who potentially had information about last weekend's incident completed questionnaires which will be followed up by the major investigation team,” he said.

“We are still seeking information about the location where the victim was taken and subjected to this horrendous ordeal. It is around 20 minutes' drive from Brandon, a small, flimsy building approached along a track with a gate.

“The victim heard repeated gunshots, every 10 seconds or so, whilst she was at this location - anyone who thinks they may recognise it, or anyone who was out shooting last Saturday afternoon, could hold vital information and I would ask them to call the incident room.”

He added: “I also want to hear from anyone who might have noticed the appearance of someone suddenly changing over the course of last week, or a vehicle's appearance altering.

“A vehicle may have always been present at a certain place, but has now gone missing. If you have noticed something out of the ordinary that cannot be accounted for, please contact us.”

The man is described as white, in his late 50s or early 60s, around 5 foot 3 inches tall, of medium build with a pot belly. He has bushy white/grey sideburns, with heavy grey facial hair and a ruddy complexion. He was wearing a red woolly hat, a red fleece, black tracksuit bottoms, trainers and glasses. He was generally dirty and smoked roll-ups.

The car is described as an older style dark coloured 4x4 with front seats only, a row of four blue spotlights on a bull bar at the front, and a rear door rather than a boot. It is believed the car was in Tesco's car park when the victim arrived to go shopping.

The incident room can be contacted on 01473 613824 or by e-mail at incident.room@suffolk.pnn.police.uk . Calls can also be made to Suffolk Police on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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