Mesa police are investigating a series of violent armed robberies that have occurred since May in the city.
As police continue to look into the four incidents, a $10,000 reward has been offered by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for the arrest of anyone involved, police announced Thursday.
A group of males armed with guns have entered and taken over four businesses, demanding money from employees, said Mesa police detective Diana Tapia. Police did not disclose the amount of money taken or the specific businesses hit.
The group, which has extreme violent tendencies but is organized, restrains the employees as well as adults and children who are customers, Tapia said.
The robberies began May 25 in Mesa in the 1900 block of West University Drive and most recently occurred Aug. 11 in the 700 block East McKellips Road.
There have been other similar incidents before and after those dates in other parts of the Valley, Tapia said.
Mesa police are offering businesses the following tips to help them be alert:
-- Keep front windows clear; do not cover them with signs or fliers. This allows everyone to easily look in and out.
-- Place a video camera at eye level inside the business and aimed at the front door and/or front counter.
-- Be aware of customers entering.
-- If anyone appears suspicious, call police.
Anyone with information about the crimes should call police at (480) 644-2211 or Silent Witness at (480) WITNESS.