Arrested for murder of popular Mesa business owner

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

Mesa police announced the arrest Sunday of Jesus Fabian De La Rosa, 58, who was found dead Tuesday at his business, Lamb’s Shoe Repair.

RELATED: Mesa community remembers murdered business owner as a generous man

De La Rosa reported a firearm stolen on Dec. 1, police said. He told police at the time that he allowed a homeless man to use his company restroom from time to time and thought he might have stolen the gun.

De La Rosa’s family told police that he went to work with a gun in a holster that day, but police did not find the gun in the holster at the crime scene. The cartridges they found at the scene matched the caliber of the stolen firearm and the caliber of the firearm that De La Rosa was wearing that day.

The family also told Mesa police that he had his cell phone with him at all times, but that it was not found on him after his murder.

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

Police said the man was wearing a helmet and using a cane when he got off the light rail. When he got back on the light rail, the cane was no longer there, but the cane was found in a store.

Officers used data from Fabian’s phone to trace the phone from Mesa to Phoenix, where they located the man with the pistol stolen by De La Rosa.

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

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