Serial rape suspect arrested in France: legal source

French police on Wednesday arrested a suspected serial rapist dubbed "the predator of the woods" who is thought to have carried out at least five attacks from 1998 to 2008, a legal source told AFP.

The 62-year-old was detained in the Seine-and-Marne region on the outskirts of Paris and faces possible charges of armed rape, kidnapping and holding someone against their will.

Police have repeatedly appealed for help in identifying the individual behind a string of rapes around Paris and La Rochelle in the western Charente-Maritime region who used the same method in each case.

"He acted without covering his face and his DNA was found in each case," chief investigator Philippe Guichard said in 2019 when police launched a public campaign to identify him.

The victims were aged between 15 and 19 and were seized at knifepoint before being driven to wooded areas.