Burglary suspect in custody after police standoff in Mesa

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By Natalie Rivers By Natalie Rivers

MESA, Ariz. -- A burglary suspect is in custody after a police standoff in what is normally a quiet retirement community in Mesa early Thursday morning.

Officers were first called out to the neighborhood near Sossaman Road and Main Street at about 3 a.m. A resident had called 911 to report a suspicious vehicle.

When the police ran the van's license plate, they learned the vehicle had been reported stolen.

Officers on the scene looked though an open window and saw a person with a flashlight inside. They tried to get the man identified as Robert Gutierrez, 32,  to come out, but he refused. That's when the SWAT team was called in.

One resident said he heard at least two shotgun blasts.

"I heard them rifling the shells through," said Mark Vannurden. "I heard the actual, everything reloading. I knew it was a shotgun."

Negotiators tried to communicate with Gutierrez via a phone rolled to the door by a robot, but the man refused to cooperate. A K-9 handler then ordered his police dog to start barking as a warning.

Shortly before 6:30 a.m., just as the SWAT team was preparing to go in, Gutierrez surrendered without further incident.

Other residents tell 3TV that there's a history of burglary and copper theft in the neighborhood, especially in the summer when many homeowners are away.

The owners of the home where Gutierrez was holed up are from Minnesota. It's believed that they are out of town for the summer.

No injuries were reported during the standoff or subsequent arrest.