LOS ANGELES (AP) — A phone tip and a Superman tattoo led to the Mexico arrest and return to the U.S. of a fugitive charged with abducting and sexually assaulting a 10-year-old Los Angeles girl.
Tobias Summers, 30, a fugitive for nearly a month, was arrested Wednesday in a Mexican village where he had checked into a drug and alcohol treatment center, authorities said.
The FBI had received a phone tip the night before that Summers was there and alerted Mexican authorities, who identified Summers by the Superman logo tattooed on his chest, FBI Special Agent in Charge Tim Delaney told a news conference.
Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck credited a $25,000 FBI reward that was highly publicized south of the border for the phone tip.
“Anybody in this city who thinks they can commit that kind of crime and remain free after doing so,” the chief said, “we’ll hunt you, we’ll find you, you cannot hide.”
The FBI website later showed pictures of Summers and his tattoos with the word “captured” across the bottom of each photo.
Summers, who was expected to be arraigned Friday, was charged in his absence by Los Angeles County prosecutors with kidnapping, burglary and nearly three dozen counts of sexual assault.
He was arrested without a struggle in the village on the coast between Tijuana and Ensenada, according to Alfredo Arenas, international liaison for the Baja California state police.
“He was pretty scared,” Arenas said. “We had him in custody very fast.”
The victim’s parents discovered she was missing from her bedroom in her Northridge home in the early morning hours of March 27. She was found about 12 hours later wandering near a Starbucks several miles away.
Daniel Martinez, 29, was arrested as a suspected accomplice. He later pleaded not guilty to kidnapping and burglary.
Authorities later revealed that Summers had been spotted in a video recording as crossing the U.S.-Mexico border east of San Diego three days after the abduction.
Mexican authorities distributed “wanted” posters with Summers’ picture and put police in the cities of Tecate, Ensenada and Rosarito Beach on alert.
Authorities believe Summers broke into the girl’s home planning to burglarize it but instead abducted her at knifepoint. They believe Martinez was waiting outside in a car the two used to flee with the girl.
Martinez soon abandoned the car and vanished, police said.
Summers took the girl to several locations and allegedly raped her, FBI Special Agent Scott Garriola wrote in an affidavit.
Summers was described as a transient with a criminal record including convictions for burglary and grand theft. Detectives identified him as a suspect based on evidence at a crime scene, the victim’s descriptions and others.
Summers has a criminal record dating to 2002 that includes arrests for robbery, battery and grand theft auto.
Associated Press writers Christopher Weber and Shaya Tayefe Mohajer contributed to this report.