A 21-year-old woman was raped in Watford just over a week ago - and police are linking it to the ongoing Met Police investigation into the abduction and rape of two other women.

Hertfordshire Constabulary has confirmed to the Watford Observer that a woman was approached by a man holding a knife in Hagden Lane at around 3.30am on Sunday April 21 - four days before the abductions of two women in Edgware and Chingford.

The victim in Watford was forced into a blue Mondeo and driven to numerous locations around the town over the next six hours.

She was abducted near the Rickmansworth Road junction.

These include the Rushton estate in Watford, near to Watford Library on Hempstead Road, North Western Avenue, and the BP garage on Wiggenhall Road.

During this time she was raped at an address in the town.

The rape was reported to police on April 22. Support is being provided to the victim.

Herts Police say a suspect was identified and a significant amount of work was done to try and locate and arrest him, which proved "unsuccessful".

Read more: Police name suspected double rapist

The named suspect, Joseph McCann, was circulated on the police's social media channels as wanted on recall to prison last Thursday as a result of their investigation.

A spokesman for the force has said: “The matter is being linked to the offences currently being investigated by the Metropolitan Police Service. We have been working very closely with them since their offences were reported and work is on-going to trace the suspect.

“Our Safer Neighbourhood Team increased their patrols locally as a reassurance measure. These patrols will continue this week.

“Anyone who believes they witnessed this incident or who believes they may have seen the vehicle during this time should contact the Sexual Offence Investigation Team via the non-emergency number 101."

Last Thursday at 12.30am, a woman was abducted from a street in Chingford at approximately and the second woman taken from a street in Edgware 12 hours later, at 12.15pm.

The women were driven to the hotel in Watford and an attempt was made to book a room around 1pm. When this was unavailable, the suspect left the premises.

Read more: Brave victim smashed bottle over kidnapper's head in bold escape

At around 2.30pm, a struggle between the women and the suspect took place in Osborne Road in Watford and the women managed to escape. One of the victims had smashed a bottle of vodka over their attacker's head before they both ran to a nearby building for safety.

Harrow Times:

Harrow Times:

Police cordons in Osborne Road on Thursday

Met Police today identified their suspect as Joseph McCann.

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. He has a slight Irish accent. He is described as having a distinctive tattoo of the name ‘bobbie’ on his stomach.

Harrow Times:

Harrow Times:

McCann was seen at this B&B, believed to be the Phoenix Lodge, in St Albans Road, Watford, last Thursday.

Read more: Forensic police seen at North Watford hotel yards from street where women escaped from rapist

Harrow Times:

Forensic officers outside Phoenix Lodge on Monday

A police reward of up to £20,000 has now been secured for information which leads to the arrest and prosecution of McCann in connection with the investigation. 

Anyone who can help is asked to call the incident room on 020 8785 8244 or 999 quoting CAD 3041/25Apr. 

If McCann is seen, members of the public should not approach him, but dial 999 immediately. 

Alternatively tweet @MetCC and or Crimestoppers anonymously via 0800 555 111.