Anonymous text tip leads to arrest of man wanted for rape of 14-year-old in Lakewood

CLEVELAND - A man accused of repeatedly raping a 14-year-old was arrested on Cleveland's west side Wednesday morning.

Bobby Thomas, 39, was wanted by the Lakewood Police Department for rape and kidnapping. The U.S. Marshals said Thomas raped the teen several times between August and October.

Just before 9 a.m. Wednesday, the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force received a text message tip that Thomas was at a house near the 32000 block of West 73rd Street. According to Marshals, officers found Thomas hiding inside a closet. He was taken to the Lakewood City Jail.

"This is another great example of the success we have when the media and the public work with us to help keep our communities safe. We will always continue to seek out new technologies to assist us with pursing those that evade the law," U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott said in a news release.

The Northern Ohio U.S. Marshal's Office was the first in the country to implement an anonymous text tip line.

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