Mesa Police Arrest Five Suspects In Connection With Robbery Series

January 10, 2011

The Mesa Police Department arrested five suspects (4 adults and 1 juvenile) in connection with the series of robberies in the east valley. This crime spree began Thursday, December 30, 2010 and ended January 7, 2011. In total, the suspects in this investigation have been tied to twelve robberies in Mesa, Gilbert and Chandler over the nine day period. In all of these robberies, the suspect enters the business and asks the employee if they can make change. When the suspect is told that he must make a purchase for the register to open, he decides to purchase an item. At this point, the suspect hands the victim a note stating he wants all the money in the register and "this is not a joke." The suspect also writes in the notes that he "needs to feed his family and does not want to hurt anyone." It appeared that two of the suspects, Nicholas Granata and Michael Divito, were alternating committing the robberies; however, the method of operation was identical in each of the crimes. Surveillance photographs were obtained at several victimized businesses, which showed the two different suspects. No weapons were ever displayed or simulated in these robberies.

Detectives working these cases requested a media release be published with surveillance photos and video of the suspects. After receiving a tip about one of the suspects in the news release, Mesa detectives began canvassing halfway and rehab housing and were able to identify Granata as one of the suspects. Surveillance was initiated on Granata immediately pending additional efforts to tie Granata to the robberies. It was discovered that Granata recently came to Arizona from Ohio and detectives were able to obtain known fingerprints from Ohio law enforcement. Mesa PD Forensic Services was able to quickly match Granata's fingerprints from Ohio to latent prints obtained from a note from one of the robberies in Mesa. While detectives continued their surveillance of Granata, they observed him leave a residence with two other subjects. They were followed to the Knights Inn at 630 W. Main, where Granata was observed entering the motel and contacting the clerk in the lobby. Shortly thereafter, Granata ran from the motel to the waiting car in the parking lot just west of the motel. Simultaneously, Mesa PD Communications received a 911 call from the Knights Inn reporting a robbery had occurred. Police were able to detain all three suspects at this time without incident at a Quik Trip.

During in-custody interviews, Nicholas Granata made a full confession to his involvement in the robberies and identified the second robbery suspect as Michael Divito. The other two suspects in the vehicle were detained and later charged with conspiracy to commit robbery. Later that evening, Michael Divito was located at the East Valley Addiction Council (EVAC) facility in Mesa where he was taken into custody without incident. When Divito was interviewed by detectives, he also made a full confession as to his involvement in this series of robberies. During Divito's interview, the fifth suspect was identified and charged with conspiracy to commit robbery. 

 

Bradley Friend Michael Divito Nicholas Granata Jonathan Frank
Bradley Friend Michael Divito Nicholas Granata Jonathan Frank

 

 

Mesa Police Department
Media Relations Office

PO Box 1466
Mesa, AZ 85211

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