SAN MARCOS, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - The suspected serial sexual assault suspect in San Marcos has been arrested. 20-year-old Tyshane Vris Thomas has been charged with Aggravated Sexual Assault for three sexual assault crimes that occurred in recent weeks, according to police.
Thomas was arrested on Tuesday, May 7 around 2:42 p.m. at the Sanctuary Loft Apartments in the 300 block of North Street. A concerned citizen reported finding a backpack in an interior stairwell at the complex with the name Tyshane Thomas written on it in permanent marker.
The citizen immediately notified police upon opening the backpack and observing a handgun and what appeared to be clothing. Upon arrival at the apartment complex, officers further examined the contents of the backpack and observed it to contain a black hooded sweatshirt, a black mask, a BB pistol made to look like a real handgun, and several items of women's clothing.
Detectives also noted that Thomas closely matched the description of the serial rapist suspected of committing three sexual assaults in San Marcos in recent weeks.
A woman was sexually assaulted at the Cottages of San Marcos on Wednesday, April 24. She believes the suspect was waiting and hiding in her bedroom before he threatened her with a handgun and assaulted her. Two women, who are roommates at the Retreat neighborhood, also reported to police that they had both been taken at gunpoint inside their apartment on Thursday, May 2.
Officers contacted Thomas at his apartment at the Sanctuary Lofts and asked him to accompany them to the SMPD headquarters for questioning. Thomas agreed and spoke to detectives for several hours.
During the interview, Thomas confessed to three sexual assault crimes and one burglary committed in San Marcos on April 24, April 30 and May 2. Officers also obtained a search warrant for the apartment where Thomas was staying. That search yielded the discovery of other items believed to be tied to the prior assaults including duct tape, zip ties, and personal lubricant.
Thomas has been charged with Aggravated Sexual Assault and is being held at the Hays County Jail. Thomas is a recent Criminal Justice student at Texas State University, last attending in the fall of 2018. This investigation is ongoing, and detectives encourage anyone who may have additional information about these crimes to contact the San Marcos Police Department Criminal Investigations Division at 512.753.2108, extension 4.