LONDON: British police charged Monday a 52-year-old man with a string of rapes and sexual assaults over the last 17 years, Scotland Yard said, after a lengthy investigation into attacks against the elderly.

Delroy Grant was charged with five rapes, six indecent assaults and 11 burglaries between 1992 and 2009, after his arrest Sunday, police said.

He will appear in Greenwich Magistrates' Court in London later Monday.

"Officers from the Homicide and Serious Crime Command at New Scotland Yard have today charged a man under the Operation Minstead investigation," police said in a statement.

Police from Operation Minstead have long been investigating more than 100 sex attacks and burglaries on elderly men and women in their homes across southeast London.

During their investigation dating back to the 1990s, police have said they were seeking a criminal, dubbed the "night stalker" by the media, with a distinctive pattern of behaviour.

The unknown attacker often disabled telephone lines and fuse boxes before breaking into the homes of vulnerable people. Light bulbs have also been removed and curtains drawn, they have said.

Often wearing a mask, the attacker woke people by shining a torch in their faces. Police have said he sometimes spent up to four hours with his victims, some of whom, aged between 68 and 93, have been raped and sexually assaulted.

A 40,000 pound (44,000 euro, 66,000 dollar) reward was also offered for information about his identity.

Earlier this month, police revealed that more than 2,054 DNA samples had been obtained from suspects as part of their inquiry at a cost of 102,700 pounds.

The 108 attacks and burglaries allegedly took place in clusters in south and southeast London, including Dulwich, Orpington, Norwood, Downham, Lee, West Wickham and Bickley.