CHANDLER, Ariz. (KSAZ) - Chandler Police say Jaime Villa is a suspected bank robber who led police on a pursuit, at one point opening fire on them before being captured. Villa allegedly robbed the First National Bank of Arizona in Chandler, as he was making his getaway he noticed officers following him, so he opened fire.
Officers tried to stop him several times, even throwing spikes in the road. The pursuit went through Chandler, to Phoenix, and ended in Tempe on Mill Avenue.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation have dubbed a serial bank robber as the sabbatical bandit, and while there is a resemblance, they have not linked Villa with those robberies.
Villa allegedly fired on responding officers at least two times, both times the bullets came close to hitting the officers.
"Shots fired, one shot at us, getting on the freeway... it's rush hour if we can't stop him safely give him to the air unit," said an officer on the dispatch audio recording.
The Phoenix Police Air unit followed Villa through to Tempe where he ditched his car near University and Mill. Police say he tried to buy a movie ticket and hide in an AMC movie theater. As officers closed in on him, he showed a bag of money into a ticket booth before he was arrested.
The FBI is investigating whether Villa could be the sabbatical bandit. The sabbatical bandit has robbed five banks since 2010, taking breaks in-between his robberies. There is a striking resemblance, but the agency has not linked Villa.
The sabbatical bandit's getaway car has been described as matching Villa's maroon Chrysler sedan. Villa now faces federal charges relating to Monday's armed bank robbery. He also faces felony charges to be prosecuted by the Maricopa County Attorney's Office for the chase and shooting at officers.