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Arrest made in murder of popular Mesa business owner

MESA, AZ — Police say a suspect is in custody in the murder of a popular Mesa business owner.

Mesa police announced the arrest Sunday after 58-year-old Jesus Fabian De La Rosa was found dead in his business, Lamb’s Shoe Repair on Tuesday.

RELATED: Mesa community remembers murdered business owner as generous man

Police say that De La Rosa had reported a firearm stolen on December 1st. He had told police at the time that he allowed a homeless man to use the restroom at his business from time to time, and believed he may have stolen the gun.

De La Rosa’s family told police that he was wearing a gun in a holster to work that day, but officers found no gun inside the holster at the crime scene. They did locate cartridges at the scene that matched both the calibers of the stolen gun and the gun De La Rosa had been wearing that day.

Family had also told Mesa police that he always had his cell phone on him, but officers did not find his cell phone on him after his murder.

Witnesses had told police a man wearing “unique clothing” had been in the area. They viewed light rail surveillance video and found the man getting on and off the light rail near Country Club Drive and Main Street before and after the murder.

Police say the man was wearing a helmet and had a cane when he got off the light rail. He did not have the cane when he got back on the light rail, but the cane was found in the store.

Officers used data from Fabian’s cell phone and traced the phone from Mesa to Phoenix, and located the man in Phoenix with De La Rosa’s stolen handgun.

The man is now facing five charges, including first degree murder, armed robbery, and theft of a firearm.

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