Ivan Leach, 47, absconded from an open prison on October 9, sparking a police search across Scotland and England.
He was arrested in Camden, north London, after going on the run from North Sea Camp open prison in Boston, Lincolnshire.
He has now been charged with being unlawfully at large, contrary to Section 49 of the Prison Act 1952, Scotland Yard said.
Leach, from Preston, was jailed in 2005 for robbing a 90-year-old woman in her home in the city.
He was given a life sentence with a minimum tariff of five years.