Utrecht serial rapist arrested

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A 51-year-old man known as a bicycle thief has been arrested in Utrecht as the possible serial rapist that terrorized women in the city almost 20 years ago.

Police say that the arrest on Wednesday was based on DNA evidence that links the man to at least three of five rapes that were committed in and around Utrecht in 1995, 1996 and in 2001. The rapist who made big headlines back then, chased young women –mostly students- on a mountain bike or scooter, and then dragged them into the bushes where he had their way with them. Police suspect he is also responsible for eleven attempted rapes. Victims described him as rough, but said that after he raped them he had been “nice” to them. Police were able to compare his DNA profile, after he was sentenced earlier this year for bicycle theft. He had in the past refused to give a DNA sample voluntarily, but as per a new law that requires convicts to have their samples taken, he could no longer withhold. “He had always been a subject in this investigation, but based on the evidence we had then he could be earmarked as a suspect,” police say.