Residents left their Homestead neighborhood early Friday morning to discover numerous agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation swarming a nearby home.
The investigation at a residence on Mac Neil Street July 27 was linked to the arrest of an armed robbery suspect the same day, the FBI confirmed Tuesday.
Aaron Vasquez, 23, was arrested in connection with an armed robbery of a fast food restaurant on Alma School Road in Chandler on May 28.
A series of ongoing armed robberies in May across the valley caught the FBI’s attention and led the agency to believe Vasquez was engaged in “at least 15 armed robberies of various fast food restaurants between September 13, 2017 and July 19, 2018,” according to an FBI press release published Tuesday.
The alleged robberies took place in Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert and Tempe.
Details in the press release allege search warrants executed by the FBI and partner law enforcement agencies last Friday recovered items and clothing similar to items used in various robberies.
“In each robbery, the individual utilized a similar handgun and was described with similar physical characteristics,” the release stated.
The FBI charged Vasquez in a complaint filed in federal court that formally accuses him of the Chandler armed robbery in May but reported possible additional charges may follow in connection to the others.
The Chandler, Mesa, Gilbert and Tempe police departments contributed resources to the investigation, according to the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force.
“This is another example of Arizona law enforcement agencies working together to protect our communities from violent crime,” said Michael DeLeon, special agent in charge of the FBI Phoenix Field Office.
The Maricopa Police Department said Friday the FBI notified the department of their presence at the address in Homestead. MPD was not on scene July 27, according to MPD Sgt. Hal Koozer.
Vasquez has a previous weapons misconduct conviction out of Maricopa County Superior Court in 2014.