String of robberies, carjackings ends in arrest The Mesa Tribune | The Hometown Newspaper for the city of Mesa, AZ

String of robberies, carjackings ends in arrest

String of robberies, carjackings ends in arrest

By Jim Walsh
Tribune Staff Writer

Mesa and Chandler police ended a violent series of armed robberies, car jackings and a shooting when they arrested a 34-year-old suspect on suspicion of numerous felonies at a Chandler hotel room.

Guillermo Reyes is accused of 19 felonies committed within a four-day span in Mesa, Chandler and Scottsdale.

The spree included five armed robberies of six victims, with five cars and trucks stolen at gunpoint and later found abandoned, police said.

The stolen vehicles ranged from a Mercedes to a pickup truck and finally a Ford Mustang.

Police arrested Reyes inside the motel room on Oct. 9, after a standoff with the Chandler SWAT team that ended when the suspect eventually surrendered.

Police said the crimes occurred between Sept. 29 and Oct. 2.

Inside the hotel room, police found a handgun and ammunition that they linked to the first incident in central Mesa, when Reyes is accused of firing several shots on Sept. 29 at two men who were outside the Diamonds Sports Grill.

“At least 12 rounds were fired at the victims, who were seated in their vehicle. Both victims suffered minor grazing wounds. Neither victim knew why they were fired upon or what might have precipitated the suspect’s actions,’’ according to Detective Nik Rasheta, a Mesa police spokesman.

The victims were able to give police a good description of Reyes, including that he was stocky and was wearing a Los Angeles Dodgers baseball cap.

Rasheta said the ammunition recovered by police from the hotel room matched the bullets used in the shooting.

Beyond the high level of violence, perhaps the strangest twist in the case occurred on Oct. 2, when police found a stolen GMC Sierra in the 500 block of W. Erie in Chandler.

“A short time later, Guillermo robbed a 10th victim on the same street at gunpoint. He forced the victim inside his home and apparently sought to throw police off his trail by stealing the victim’s clothes,” Rasheta said.

“Guillermo took off his own clothes and put on the victim’s clothing, which included a camouflage shirt,” he added. “He left his clothes behind and fled in the victim’s blue Ford Mustang.’’

During the manhunt, police recovered a series of critical pieces of evidence that eventually helped them identify and track Reyes down.

One example was when police recovered a Dodgers cap and a backpack after it fell out of the stolen Sierra, Rasheta said.

Police also located a trail of fingerprints matching those of Reyes in stolen vehicles and even on some food containers after an armed robbery at an East Mesa barbeque restaurant.

“Mesa Police want to thank all the extremely observant victims and witnesses, the meticulous Crime Scene Specialists and especially the Chandler Police Department for helping us arrest a tremendously violent offender,’’ Rasheta said.

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