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Detectives arrest man in fast-food robberies

Posted at 8:11 AM, Apr 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-28 21:28:21-04

Pima County Sheriff's detectives arrested 22-year-old Mateo Rodriguez in connection with a recent string of drive-through armed robberies.

Pima County Sheriff Chris Nanos says the robberies began in early March. The most recent robbery happened last week at the McDonald's at 2990 W. Valencia Road.

Nanos says Rodriguez is the man seen on surveillance video reaching through the drive-through window with a handgun to steal cash. 

"The way he's crawling around with that gun, if it just even accidentally goes off, who knows who he's going to hit," said Nanos. 

Authorities say in all of the seven armed robberies, the suspect drove through a fast food restaurant drive-through, paid for his order, then pointed a handgun at the employee and demanded money from the cash register. No one was injured in any of the incidents. 

Nanos says they were able to link Rodriguez to all seven armed robberies by looking at his vehicle. Detectives looked closely at the surveillance video and determined that the suspect was driving a 2016 Nissan Rogue, a car they learned through talking to dealerships was not that common.
Detectives then received a list of names from dealerships and rental car companies. 
"They come across one of the houses and sure enough, it's not just the gray Nissan Rogue but also another vehicle, a white Dodge Ram was parked there as well," said Nanos. 
Authorities say that Dodge Ram was also seen on surveillance video in some of the earlier robberies. Detectives say they found evidence at the house linking Rodriguez to the crimes.
"He did admit to it," said Nanos. "He has a heroin substance abuse problem. In fact they charged him with possession of heroin. They found heroin on him." 
Rodriguez faces seven counts of armed robbery, two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, two counts of first degree burglary, possession of a narcotic drug and possession of drug paraphernalia.