NEW HAVEN, CONN. (WPIX)—After years on his trail police say they have caught the man cops call the "East Coast Rapist."
Suspect Aaron Thomas, 39, was busted Friday in Connecticut. Lt. Julie Johnson of the New Haven Police Department told reporters, "Aaron Thomas was taken into custody without incident by the US marshals and the Capitol Area Regional Fugitive Task Forces while walking on Cooper Place in New Haven."
Police say for 10 years the Thomas targeted women along the East Coast. Police were worried he would strike again. As PIX11 News reported last week ,cops kicked off a new push to catch the "East Coast Rapist." Authorities used digital billboards, most prominently one in Times Square, plus 30 others in seven states, and they also launched new websites dedicated to attracting tips from the public. And it worked.
Could there be other victims unknown to law enforcement? Sgt. Kim Chinn of the Prince William County, Virginia Police Department told reporters "I'm sure there are other cases that we don't even know exist, and it's great to have him off the streets."
Authorities say the "East Coast Rapist" assaulted at least 12 women over the years. All the crimes were linked through DNA. His most recent victims were three teenage girls headed home for a night of trick or treating in Virginia.
Sgt. Chinn told reporters, "... in the last few days, the task force received an anonymous tip from a crime solver's caller in addition to putting some other information together themselves, and both of these things coincided at the same time and they came up with the name of suspect."
Among the charges suspect Aaron Thomas faces are: rape, sexual assault, abduction and the use of a firearm while committing a first-degree felony. He's being held in New Haven on a one-million-dollar bail.