Violent Fugitive Linked To "Gas Can" and "Zip Tie" Robberies
December 5, 2007
On December 5, 2007 at 12:11 a.m., the search for a violent
repeat offender, Marco Antonio Villarino, came to an end in a
residential neighborhood near 107th Avenue and McDowell in
Members of the Mesa Police Department, Arizona Department of
Public Safety and the U.S. Marshall's Office attempted to arrest
29-year-old Marco Antonio Villarino on suspicion of numerous
felony charges, including robbery and kidnapping, that were a
result of a series of armed robberies that started in 2004.
Villarino was linked to a string of "gas can" robberies that
plagued the valley in 2004 and 2005. Villarino was also
suspected of committing a recent series of robberies known as
the "zip tie" robberies in Mesa and other local municipalities.
Villarino was wanted in Colorado and Nevada on robbery and
Investigators discovered that Villarino was in the west valley
and were able to confirm his location. Villarino eventually left
a west valley residence in a passenger car and undercover police
units initiated a moving surveillance. Investigators attempted
to stop Villarino, but instead Villarino drove his vehicle off
the roadway and into an electrical box. Villarino is then
suspected of shooting himself before investigators could affect
an arrest. Villarino was pronounced deceased at the scene.
The Mesa Police Department would like to thank the Department of
Public Safety and the United States Marshall's Office for their
partnership throughout this investigation. We would also like to
thank the Avondale Police Department for their assistance at the
scene that was located within their jurisdiction.