Operation Grinch Stopper: PD arrest Luis Salgado-Reyes for Mesa Motel robberies

Posted at 11:34 AM, Dec 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-20 13:34:59-05

Police say a man has been arrested for robbing three Mesa Motels at knifepoint.

On December 13, local and federal law enforcement conducted "Operation Grinch Stopper 2016" where 157 fugitives statewide were apprehended.

One of the suspects arrested was 21-year-old Luis Alonzo Salgado-Reyes who was wanted in connection with three armed robberies of motels in Mesa. 

Police report that on December 1, Reyes jumped over the counter at the Econo Lodge Inn near Alma School Road and Main Street and robbed the motel while holding the desk employee at knifepoint with a 'Chef's knife."  The victim reported to police that the suspect was wearing a faded white mask and dark colored Converse shoes.

Police say Reyes struck again on December 6, where he jumped over the counter at the Baymont Inn Suites near Horne and Main Street and robbed the motel while holding the desk employee at knife point. The employee gave a similar description of Reyes, again with the faded white mask and dark Converse shoes.

Reyes reportedly already had an arrest warrant issued on him for a robbery at the same Econo Lodge in August. Police managed to get a palm print belonging to Reyes.

Reyes was located and caught in the area of Gilbert and McKellips roads while in his girlfriend's car. Police say they found the faded white mask and the knife in the car when Reyes was arrested.

Reyes has been charged with kidnapping, aggravated assault, and armed robbery.

"The holiday and Christmas season can be a wonderful time of the year, but it can also be very dangerous. There is a noticeable spike in crime during the holidays because people are more vulnerable to theft, burglary, and robbery by criminals taking advantage of an opportunity to commit crime," said David Gonzales, U.S. Marshal for the District of Arizona. "The U.S. Marshals Service's annual Operation Grinch Stopper is focused on targeting fugitives who seek to ruin the holiday spirit."

During their investigation, officers also arrested 18 assault suspects, six sex offenders and three suspects wanted for Homicide.