Wednesday, March 25, 1998 | 9:51 a.m.
A serial rapist stalking women in a southeast Las Vegas neighborhood congested with apartment complexes finally left an important clue for investigators who have been searching for him without luck for the past 15 months.
A black, wool brim-less "beanie cap" with a Nike logo on it was left behind when the would-be raper was beaten away by his victim and fled an apartment in the Polo Club complex in the 3100 block of East Flamingo early Tuesday.
Metro Police Sgt. Clint Robison, with the department's sexual assault unit, said the attacker followed a pattern he set with his first rape in December 1996.
First he stalks the victim, finding one who either lives alone or with another female. At around 5 a.m. he then enters the apartment through a sliding glass door, commits the rape and flees.
"He matches force with force," said Robison, noting that if a victim resists the attacker normally uses whatever strength is required to overcome the resistance.
According to Robison, the attacker in the southeast always claims to have a weapon but none of his victims have seen one.
Four rapes at apartment complexes within blocks of the Polo Club units have been attributed to the southeast rapist. Tuesday morning's assault was his fifth attempt.
Robison said several women have been attacked in recent months on the southwest side of town by a man using similar tactics, but he thinks that assailant may be a copy-cat rapist because he pistol-whipped one victim and he cut another with a knife.
The serial rapist who left his cap is described as 5 feet 9 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighing between 150 and 165 pounds.
Robison said the man always wears gloves, a hat and a mask making it impossible for victims to determine his race.
Tuesday morning, in addition to the hat, the attacker was wearing matching black sweat pants and a shirt with a hood. The hood was drawn tight around his face.
The suspect has been described as muscular, though not a body builder, and agile.
A reward of $8,500, contributed by several apartment managers, is being offered for the arrest and conviction of the rapist.