Woman is raped in a Berkshire layby after stopping when she saw a baby car seat and feared a child was at risk – as police launch manhunt for attacker
- Police are hunting for the sex attacker after the rape in Thatcham in Berkshire
- Officers said they are trying to understand if the car seat is related to the crime
- They said the rape had caused understandable ‘anxiety’ but added they are rare
A woman has been raped in a layby after stopping when she saw a baby’s car seat and feared the child was at risk.
Thames Valley Police launched a manhunt for the sex attacker after the victim was abused in Thatcham, Berkshire.
Officers said they are trying to understand if the car seat is related to the midnight attack on Monday.
They said the rape had caused understandable ‘anxiety’ in the area but added ‘such offences are extremely rare’.
Police are deploying more officers to the streets in the coming days in a bid to track the culprit.
Thames Valley Police launched a manhunt for the sex attacker after the victim was abused in Thatcham, Berkshire (general view of the road)
Investigating officer Detective Inspector Alice Broad, said: ‘The investigation is working at pace to identify the suspect of this offence.
‘The victim has provided a full account of the incident and is being supported by specially trained officers.
‘Due to the victim’s account, we are now in a position to provide further information to the public.
‘We can confirm that we believe the offender was not known to the victim. The victim was driving on the A4 before the offence occurred.
Officers said they are trying to understand if the car seat is related to the midnight attack on Monday (general view shown)
‘She stopped her vehicle at the scene because she saw a child’s car seat in a layby and was concerned there might be a child at risk because the car seat was empty.
‘Thames Valley Police is working to understand the significance of the child’s car seat and whether it is linked to the offence.
‘However, to ensure the safety of the public, we would advise that if you see anything in a road or on the roadside that concerns you, make a note of the precise location and call Thames Valley Police on 101. The force can then make appropriate checks.
‘We are appealing to anyone with footage or information to please come forward. No matter how insignificant you think your information might be, please provide it to the police or anonymously to Crimestoppers.
‘We would like to hear from anyone with footage, whether dashcam, mobile phone or CCTV, from the A4 in Thatcham between about 11pm Sunday 15th until about 12.15am on Monday the 16th August.
He added: ‘This is a concerning incident and one that has understandably caused anxiety in the local community.
‘However, such offences are extremely rare and a thorough investigation is underway to identify the offender.
‘You will see more officers out and about in the area and I urge you to speak with them if you have any questions or concerns that you wish to raise.
‘Alternatively, you can contact your local neighbourhood team online or on 101.’