A RAPIST known as the Night Stalker struck yesterday for the first time in nearly three years.

The black-clad masked intruder, who preys on the elderly, is responsible for four rapes and 31 indecent assaults stretching back 16 years.

In the latest incident, a man broke into an elderly woman’s home in Thornton Heath, South East London – the heart of the area the Night Stalker prowled. Even though she was not sexually assaulted, cops believe he is responsible.

She was his 99th victim. Of the others, 88 were women and ten men – one of whom was sexually assaulted.

A source said detectives from Operation Minstead, hunting the Night Stalker, were treating the case “very seriously”. The source added: “It’s like he is taunting us that he hasn’t gone away.”

The road where the raid happened was being searched and the victim questioned gently.

The Night Stalker is described as being a light-skinned black man with a South London accent, 5ft 10in with an athletic build.